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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life Application

Have you ever had, as a Christian, one of those "sticky situations?" You want to do the right thing. But there appear to be two sides to the dilemma. (That's what makes it a "dilemma!")

Things are not always black or white - but seem to fall into some kind of gray area. What's appropriate just doesn't seem to be very clear. What's really going on here? How should we, as Christ-followers, respond in such situations?

First, let's define the character and nature of a dilemma. A dilemma is a problem where there are at least two choices we could make. It is often a situation where you are not sure what is right or wrong --- or what is more right or more wrong. What often seems clear about a dilemma is that right or wrong can be measured in degrees. And neither seems to be absolute. Such is the nature and character of a dilemma.

Second, let's understand that the world seeks to present Christians with dilemmas every day. But the world wants to conceal those dilemmas. It doesn't want us to know that they are dilemmas. So the world will try to make wrong look right - or right look wrong. And it will make them look absolutely right or absolutely wrong. In other words, the world will try to make it as clear a choice for us as possible.

So what's the problem with the world's presentation? For starters, the world isn't trying to behave in a Christ-like manner. The world isn't focused on doing God's will. So the world will try to lead you to its conclusion ... instead of God's. But it is the more spiritually mature Christian who has some discernment.

He or she will smell the dilemma in the apparently clear choice. That Christ-follower will notice that what appears to be right has some characteristics of wrong. He or she may smell something right about what appears to be wrong. The fog may clear enough for you to notice that things aren't as they had seemed.

It is when that mature Christian begins to question the circumstances that we discover we have a full blown dilemma on our hands. And what should we do about those dilemmas? You may not like this, but we are not to give up looking for the right answer. And there's a good reason why!

You see, God is all-knowing. His provision is perfect. He knows the dilemmas that we will face in life. And He has provided the answers for every single question that life can sling at us. His Spirit can lead every single decision that humanity might ever have to make. This is what's true about the challenge of any dilemma.

So we need to ask, to seek, to listen, to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We need to search the Scriptures, seek wise counsel ... of other Christ-followers who are more spiritually mature and have more life experience than we do. We need to ask them to help us search the Scriptures, help us process our thoughts - and pray with us for the Spirit's leading.

God doesn't leave His people empty handed when it comes to life's dilemmas. Never forget that. And resolve to take your next dilemma and treat it like any good dilemma deserves to be treated!

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