Long ago, in a lifetime far, far away, I had a very close friend make some unfortunate choices. This friend was like inner circle close. We shared most everything with each other and went to each other for help and advice.
She had called and told me - nervously - about her choices. And that she was going to continue to pursue this direction. I was very calm on the phone, but felt so deeply sad and disappointed. So betrayed. How could this happen? My friend wasn’t who I thought she was. She wasn’t walking out the beliefs that I had assumed we both valued.
After our phone call, I started to have all of these feels. Like:
She should know how I REALLY feel about this!
She must think that I agree with her decisions!
How could she do this to our friendship?
And so I decided to follow these feels, and call her back to give her a piece of my mind.
I may or may not have used some colorful language during this phone call.
And for a moment I felt strong, and in control, and powerful.
Until I hung up, and the Holy Spirit chimed in.
Have any of you ever messed up really bad and your parents didn’t freak out or scream or yell, they just got really quiet and that’s worse than anything else in the world?
That’s what the Holy Spirit did with me.
Then He urged me to read Galatians 6:1:
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
I had missed it. There was nothing gentle about my response to her. I was waving Truth all the way - only it needed to be wrapped in Love.
So I called her back, and begged forgiveness, and she was gracious to me.
I know as humans, all of us have these moments. Moments where the wrong leader entices us to follow - and we choose to go along. It just feels right, right?
The difficult part is, there are multiple leaders vying for us to follow them, and many of them are leading us into heartbreak, difficulty, and unnecessary hardship.
But how can we tell who's leading where?
Here's a good look at some of the more common options:
- The Feels. Follow me! I know exactly where to go to make you feel good - to make you feel justified, in control, and powerful. I may change my tune regularly, but I'm just flexible, adapting to each situation! Come on, you can trust me!
- The Culture. Follow me! Everyone around you already has this figured out. Join the club. If your family and friends are already following me, it should just make sense that I know where I'm going. Come on, you can trust me!
- The Logic. Follow me! I have evidence to support all of my decisions. Hard data and analytic strategy is the only way to truly ensure that you won't miss it. I can provide all of that. Come on, you can trust me!
- The Passive. Follow me! I will give you the path of least resistance. Whatever is the easiest option, always choose that. Don't exert too much energy or thought. In fact, don't even decide. Let what happens, happen. Everything will work out in the end. Come on, you can trust me!
While some of these "leaders" may sound good, these options are terrible to build your life on. Each of them lack the firm foundation that God has designed for us to stand on.
Here are some better options:
The Word. Follow me. I am your Anchor for the soul, a Light unto your path, lamp unto your feet. While following Me may not be easy, I will keep you, and lead you beside still waters. Follow me. You can trust me.
The Spirit. Follow me. I will always Guide you into Truth. I will reveal Jesus to you and He will reveal the Father. In difficult situations, Your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it.' My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Follow me. You can Trust me.
The Wisdom. Love Wisdom, and She will protect you. She will keep you from stumbling. Simply ask God for me, and He will give me freely! Follow me. You can Trust me.
Who are you following today? Take a moment to consider this during your day. Pause and let the Word come alive in your heart, let the Holy Spirit guide you when you aren't sure which option to choose, and ask God for wisdom today.