Just Do It Part 1: Deadly Tentativeness

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This week I will be posting some of this summer’s devotional emails on the theme: “Just Do It.”

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Call me “second-guesser” or “indecisive,” they’re both true. I need a detailed five-year plan that mimics my heart’s desire in order to feel comfortable making a decision. When life doesn’t work like that, I struggle.

My mom almost gave me a decision making worksheet for Christmas. (Thanks mom.) Sad thing is, I probably would have used it!

In each of my decisions, I want to wait for a magical moment, a voice from heaven that confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am supposed to go exactly HERE and do exactly THIS. Then I’d do it, obviously. That’s easy.

But usually…that’s not how God works. At least for me.

Tentativeness can be deadly.

I brought up some of my current decisions to a wise mentor named Sharon, who answered my questions with a story. Recently a squirrel ran out in the road as she was driving. The squirrel heard the oncoming car, but couldn’t decide which way to run! It’s indecision nearly killed it. Sharon concluded, “Tentativeness can be deadly.”

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Instantly the parable Jesus told in Matthew 25 came to mind. It’s the one about a businessman leaving on a trip. Just before leaving, he entrusted some money to a few different people. The man didn’t tell these people what to do with the money, except to let them know they’d have to return the money to him at the end of his trip.

Sounds like life, right? We aren’t given a 70-year plan, just entrusted with this precious life and told we will give an account for it one day.

The people’s responses in that parable are so interesting! Two of them invested the money, eventually returning twice as much to the businessman after his trip.

The third person, however, was afraid because no one told him what to do with the money, so he buried it in the ground. When the businessman returned, this guy dug up the money he’d been given, returning it.

The businessman yelled (in essence), “What were you thinking?! At least do SOMETHING with the money! I don’t care what you do, but don’t just bury it; INVEST it somehow so you can return even more to me!”

Doing nothing versus doing something…

And yet that’s how I live my life sometimes.

I get so afraid of making the wrong decision, that I don’t do ANYTHING.

How many times do I choose to do NOTHING because I’m afraid to do SOMETHING?

Sharon’s story brought my decisions back into focus: God wants me to seek Him, and then make a wise decision.

He guides us.

I want to make the right decision so that I stay in His will, but He wants me to stay in His will even MORE than I want to! He has put dreams in my heart to help guide me. If I’m going the wrong way, He’ll show me.

I love Isaiah 30:21 that says you’ll hear a voice BEHIND you, confirming that you are walking in the right way. It seems to me that to hear a voice behind you, you have to take the step before you’re absolutely, 100% positive that you’re making the “right” step.

Maybe it’s more important to do something, to invest our lives, than to play it safe, becoming frozen with worry about which decision is the “right” one. That tentativeness (aka, fear) can kill us spiritually.

Seek the Lord, and if He doesn’t give clear direction, ask yourself, “What’s in my heart to do? What’s the last thing He told me to do? Do these things line up with Scripture? Do trusted people in my life confirm that this would be a good choice?”

If you’re not sure, then wait on God – but wait actively. Invest what He’s already given you. Be open to whatever answer He gives, even if it’s a season of doing something that’s not-so-fun.

But if the answer is yes, maybe it’s time to just do it!

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