In Harry Potter 5, “The Order of the Phoenix” Albus Dumbledore has a great line that goes like this: “Soon, we must all make the choice between what is right and what is easy.” I have said something like this for a long time. Often I think in our lives of faith we forget the importance of the tough choices we have to make everyday of our lives. It is a lesson I have had to learn over and over again. When you live in a fallen world you have to deal with tough choices all the time.
I have made choices in life that seemed so easy. Once in ministry I tried to let students pick an event for the summer. I tried to have them take the heat for the decision instead of me. It back fired. I had a true mess on my hands. I let the students down. I had parents, students and even the Church mad at me. Instead of just standing up and making the decision, God had called me to that place to make, I tried to take the easy way out and avoid the conflict. Of course the conflict still came. The conflict never goes away. You can either deal with it head on quickly and take the heat, or you can let it fester and then you have a mess. I have made some good choices in ministry. I think I am probably still in the ministry because I am willing to make those hard choices, but I fail far to often. You would think after 11 years I would stand up for what is right, knowing in the long run it is so much easier. Making that choice helps God’s will to be done. Alas I still fall short in this department. I still take the easy way and then pay for it later.
Acts 26 tells an interesting story about Paul before King Agrippa. He makes a bold proclamation. They even call him crazy. Paul confronts his accusers. Now some might say after reading the chapter that Paul shouldn’t have been so bold to request Caesar because he could have been let go and enjoyed the easy life. Paul and for that matter Jesus had a different, and more important plan. He wanted Paul to reach Rome. He wanted him to go and share the Gospel there to change and empire and the world. I am no Paul, and neither are most of us ever going to be put in this type of situation, but I would hope Jesus would give me the strength to make the right and difficult decision so that his will would be done with me involved.
So what in your life of faith are you thinking about standing up for? What decision do you know you need to make? What person or situation is God calling you to confront so that his will and grace abound in your life and world?