Have you ever observed a dog and wished for the simplicity of its life

Have you ever observed a dog and wished for the simplicity of its life?  Wouldn't it be great to just act on instinct and be done with it?  But N-o-o-o-... our road to ignorant bliss is pocked by the potholes of reason and free will.  We are forced to make decisions, and decision-making is risky business, especially for those lacking wisdom purchased by life experience.

Our lives are an endless stream of choices, and everyday we make decisions ranging from the mundane to the momentous.  This wouldn't be so bad if it wasn’t for those pesky little liabilities known as responsibility and consequences.  Sadly and with increasing frequency, some really disastrous decisions have and are being made.

But there is hope.  Along with free will we are given a conscience to weigh decisions based on what is right and wrong.  Unfortunately a conscience doesn't come preset with absolute values, it is programmable.  There's an old saying in the computer industry regarding programming:  "Garbage in, garbage out".  Our conscience can be programmed by such influences as TV, movies, parents and peers.  Oh, and another thing; when self and free will are in cahoots, the very best conscience can be circumvented.

So what's the answer?  Well ironically, I found the answer by actually making a decision.  I decided to follow Jesus.  Did this choice eliminate the need to make decisions?  Absolutely not!  But it did provided an accurate moral scale upon which to weigh them.

WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) is a popular acronym people call on when pondering a decision.  But in reality, the question isn't what would Jesus do, but what would Jesus have me do?

Now don't despair.  There's good news about "The Good News".  When I accepted Christ, God granted me two powerful tools… The Holy Spirit and Prayer (and they came with instruction manuals, too).

The Holy Spirit lives within me and has many helpful functions, such as: programming my conscience with absolute values and providing me a two-way communication with God.  So now when facing a decision I ask God (through Jesus) to guide me to the right choice. God sends His answer to the Holy Spirit who convicts me of what is right.  The decision should be a no-brainer.  Right?  Well, sometimes His answer isn't really what I wanted to hear, or He wants me to actually expend effort, or perform a perilous leap of faith.  I mean come on… Get real.

Remember that old bug-a-boo free will we discussed earlier?  Well, It's just been waiting for pride, fear, laziness, self-interest, desire or any number of excuses to overrule God's will.  So now, the question isn't What Would Jesus Do? It's …. “What Will Jon Do”?


Jon Skillman
The Ambassador Newspaper

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