In a world of knee-jerk decision-making, who has time to think about consequences?
Here’s a very simple decision that a lot of people make every day – and don’t get me wrong, I am an avid fan of fufu coffee – a quick trip to Starbucks before their shift starts. Why? If you’re a casual coffee drinker like myself, it’s probably because it’s tasty and/or you’re dragging your feet a little that day and you need a moderately expensive kick in the face. If you happen to frequent the place, you’re probably addicted. Just admit it already.
This isn’t really a high-impact decision, but it’s minus $5.00 and, if you don’t eat anything, you’re probably going to get heartburn and crash out later on in the day. And at this point, was it worth it? Perhaps.
Take a minute and think about some of the conscious decisions you made today – quick ones or otherwise. Were they worth it? What were the results?
It’s not easy to make the “right” decision every single time. It’s impossible, in fact. Otherwise, Jesus wasted a lot of torture and blood, and God is a complete tool for letting His Son go through with it. If you believe church/Christianity desires perfection of you, you’re either misinformed, bitter toward Christians or religion in general, or you’re probably going to a bad church.
However, it isn’t a bad idea to think about why you do particular things. Paul writes in Colossians 3:22-23:
“Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men…”
I’m a fan of integrity. A huge fan. I can’t stand it when people consciously cut corners or do things without regard for others. Proverbially sweeping things under the rug, or having skeletons in the closet. Pick your cliché.
I like the term “eyeservice” in the NKJV. It’s archaic in modern English, but it makes the point – doing things to be seen. People don’t usually do stupid things in front of others – they look to make an impression, particularly in the workplace or in front of family members. But in the dark or around the corner, the flesh takes over and you are much more prone to impulsive decisions.
But if you knew God noticed, would your behavior change?
Taking your time to do something right instead of rushing through it to say, “I’m done!” sounds unattractive, because the boss is trying to save money through your efficiency. But this verse commands us not to do this. The context is slavery – that slaves should do what their masters say, even if they don’t see you. And continue to do so, even if he NEVER notices!
This type of thinking is nowhere near as easy, and it’s a lot less “fun”. But when it’s done, it’s much more satisfying, knowing you’re finishing the job right, and that it pleases God to do so.
There’s one more verse I’m going to slide in here – again in Colossians, 4:17:
And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
Paul takes the time to make a note for some dude, telling him to pay attention to what he’s doing and to follow through. Quick illustration: baseball players don’t succeed without doing this while batting. Just sayin’.
For further reading, check out Isaiah 56 for the positives of integrity and righteousness, and Ezekiel 30-31 for the devastating negative consequences to some prominent figures. Cool analogy using a tree in Ezekiel, for what it’s worth. Yes, a tree.
Now go forth and grab a coffee. And then remember this scolding and feel very, very guilty.