We are in a season of political change. We saw the UK begin to change in May with the surprising results of the EU Referendum, and we saw this shift again recently when Donald Trump was voted in as President-elect of the United States. In France, we are seeing political change too, as my home country prepares for its own presidential elections next year.
I am pleased that we live in a democracy and that we each have the ability (and responsibility) to vote, but now we need to consider how we should respond to the outcome of the decisions made. How can we ensure unity in the church and keep positive relationships when our opinions can be so different? The same applies to the decisions we’re confronted with on a daily basis.
Choose who you will serve
We must remember firstly who we serve. In Joshua 24:15, Joshua commanded the people to ‘Choose you this day who you will serve.’ He told the people that the choice was up to them; it was their decision, but he ended by saying ‘As for ME and MY house, we will serve the Lord.’ Although as believers we ultimately serve the Lord, He gives us the choice and allows us to decide who we are going to serve. I believe this is a very intentional verse. It encourages us to make our choice and then have the courage and commitment to stand by what we believe.
Agree to disagree
In life we are confronted by choices on a daily basis, and the choices that we make today will affect our tomorrow.
There will always be disagreements among friends and family over the choices we make. But I believe some of these disagreements could be avoided if we tried to listen more. Too often in discussion, we are set on persuading the other person to see things as we see them, and we do not stop to listen. If we don’t listen, we won’t hear others’ views. And who knows, perhaps the opposite side might have a good point to make? If we all agreed on everything, it would be a very boring world. It is fine to say ‘I don’t see it, I don’t understand it, but I respect how you feel.’ For me, my relationships with family and friends are more precious than my argument.
Who should have the final word?
We all like to have the final word, but the final Word comes from God.
The Bible is God’s divine instruction manual, and it tells us how to live our lives according to God’s will. As I have said before, if we bought a new phone or gadget, we would always read the instruction manual so that we knew how to operate this new gift in the best possible way. The same is true of our lives and God’s Word – it tells us all we need to know about how to live a life aligned with God’s plan.
Even if we make wrong choices in life and create a mess through those choices, our failures are not fatal – provided we are willing to acknowledge them. God will always be there to help us.
Whatever situation you find yourself in today, and however you are feeling – whether it is fear or excitement – it is important to remember that God has a plan: ‘A plan to prosper you, not to harm you, a plan to give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11).