A while back I was pondering a ministry decision and found myself going back and forth, weighing all the various human and political factors – how will that student respond to decision A? How will this other student respond to decision B? What are the benefits of taking this course? What are the risks of taking that other course? And so on and so forth. After a long period of going back and forth and genuinely being uncertain, I finally exhausted myself with these kinds of questions and asked a more basic question: what is most pleasing to the Lord? Regardless of how people will respond or what the outcome will be, what is the right thing to do? What is God’s will?
The human and political questions are important and necessary, but its so liberating and clarifying to realize that our ultimate accountability is to God Himself, not to any human court or opinion. While I want to make every effort to live peaceably with others (Romans 12:18), my ultimate responsibility is not to other people, but to Christ (Galatians 1:10). That not only brings clarity amidst a thousand competing voices, but it also frees me to follow God’s leading with confidence – to pull the trigger on a decision, even if I can’t foresee all the consequences. Praise God for the sheer simplicity of his call – we’re not responsible for pleasing everybody, or fixing all the problems, or managing some desired result. Ultimately, we’re responsible to simply trust and obey, as best we are able.
“Try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” -Ephesians 5:10