From the moment you get up in the morning until your head hits the pillow at night, you face many decisions. Wheat or white toast? Scrambled or over easy? Four or six shots of espresso? Most are routine and the outcome fairly insignificant; however, other decisions are defining…turning points that may not seem momentous at the time, but affect your life for days, weeks, months and years. The friends you choose, the risks you take, your sexual choices may affect you for a lifetime. Big decisions carry a big risk. You make the decision; then it makes you. Making the right decision often involves pain, courage, relational discomfort, loss, embarrassment and maybe a decline in your popularity. The decisions you make reflect who or what is on the throne of your heart, who or what is lord of your life.
Mt 27:11, 15-20, 22-24, 26; Lk 23:4-5, Mk 8:36
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”(Mt 27:22)
Matthew 27 relates the story of Jesus’ appearance before Pilate the Roman governor. Pilate was stubborn and ruthless and had not played “nice” with the largely Jewish population over which he had jurisdiction. He had been called on the rug by Caesar, so he was in a tenuous political position when Jesus was brought before him. He faced a life-defining decision. He could please the Jewish leaders and send an innocent man to die, or he could free Jesus and incite a riot that would be detrimental to his political career. He chose to appease the people and save himself an immediate backlash of revolt. Pilate turned Jesus over to the crowd, and in Matthew 27:24 we are told that Pilate washed his hands of the situation with Jesus. He knew Jesus was innocent, but he didn’t stand up for what was right. His indecision was a big decision.
Do you struggle with making decisions? How do you gather information? What is your process? Do you make decisions quickly or does it take you a while? Have you ever waited so long that the opportunity to make a decision passed you by? How does your relationship with Jesus Christ affect the decisions you make? Name a decision that you made that has proven to be a blessing to your life ever since you made it? Is there a decision you made that has caused you grief ever since you made it?
Be sure that the decisions you make line up with God’s Word. If you need guidance, ask a Christian friend or pastor to help shed light on your situation. Consider the immediate and long-range outcome of your decisions. Pray daily for God’s guidance in the decisions you make.
Heavenly Father, please give me guidance in all my decisions. May I be strong enough to make the right decision, the God-honoring decision, even when it means personal pain and loss. Give me clarity and focus to keep my eyes on you. In Jesus Name, I pray, amen.