A few years back when I was struggling with this thing called Christianity — or more accurately struggling more than I am now — I was faced with what I thought was a huge theological dilemma that I just could not answer. I was dealing with an issue that I needed to make a decision on and I just could not figure out what to do. I prayed and I burned lots of brain time looking at it from every angle. My wife and I also talked it to death trying to arrive at a resolution that was acceptable to us and logical.
The problem was that we just could not do it — there was no reasonable way out, we thought.
While wrestling this issue out, I was talking with my then young son one day and I was in the process of explaining it to him — you don’t understand how tough Daddy has it buddy, its so hard and God is just not answering me! Self pity is fun, isn’t it?
Son asked a couple of simple questions. “What does the Bible say about it?” he asked. I gave him the simple answer because frankly the Bible covered the issue pretty clearly. He followed up, “So why are you not doing that?” Ugh, well that hurts – go to bed!
My answer why I was avoiding the Bible’s answer, if broken down, was simple — because I thought it would hurt.
Given our circumstances in life, our financial picture and the likely reaction of those around us, I thought doing what the Bible said was going to be really hard and we would suffer repercussions for it. I just did not want to bear that pain. Even admitting this now hurts and the realization stung at the time.
What’s more, my disobedience and delay had messed with my understanding of what the Lord was saying through His Word. Because of my aversion to the pain that was expected, I had taken what was a simple Bible question and turned it into the theological Gordian knot. “It is impossible to know what God wants me to do with this I tell you!!!!– except where he says it here, here, here in The New testament oh and here, here and here in the Old Testament”. Though I am the author of these posts, I never said faith has come easy for me.
The Bible does not cover every possible scenario that we face in life specifically, but it does cover many of them and also provides the guidelines to cover the remainder if we are willing to apply them. The question often is simply whether we are willing to apply them — willing to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer as James says. This is particularly applicable when the culture’s answer to the same scenario is the polar opposite of the Lord’s.
We often say that Jesus is Lord, meaning master or ruler over us. When our Lord tells us to do something and the culture tells us not to, who are we going to listen to?