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Make Your Mind Up And Get On With It

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Romans 14:5
Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip and during the night Holmes said, "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see." Watson said, "I see millions and millions of stars." Holmes then asked, "And what does that tell you?" Watson reflected and responded, "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies, and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that God is great, and that we are small. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow." He then paused for a moment, "Holmes," asked Watson, "What does it tell you?" Holmes retorted, "It tells me somebody stole our tent."

Sometimes we can over analyze a thing, and miss the obvious. We can make the simple more complicated than it needs to be. In the Christian life, I think we often do that when it comes to knowing and doing the will of God. When it comes to general guidance, God expects us to simply make up our mind. The Bible encourages us to use our head, and act with prudence. This explains why Paul in Romans informs the saints that it was quite legitimate for them to make up their own minds on disputable matters, so long as their minds were taught by a good conscience (Rom. 14:5). Here the apostle points to a convinced mind being a major factor in guidance. Other New Testament passages point to reason and the use of critical thinking as being part of the godly decision-making process. Thinking terminology like, "I considered it necessary," "it is not desirable," "it seemed good," or simply "I decided," is to be found throughout the biblical and apostolic record (Phil. 2:25-26; Acts 6:2-4; 15:28-29; Titus 3:12). When it comes to guidance, God doesn't just want us to read the Scripture, pray, and seek the advice of others. He wants us to also put our thinking caps on. It is with and through a renewed mind, submitted to the lordship and leadership of Christ, that we can prove what is that good and perfect will of God for us (Rom. 12:1-2). God intends that we more often than not resolve our dilemmas and decisions through clear and critical thinking. We do this through weighing the options, asking the right questions, and seeking what is reasonable as well as righteous. God generally guides us by presenting reasons to our minds for acting in a certain way.

The Lord gave us a lot of leading when he gave us a brain. If God gave us watches, would we honor Him by asking Him the time of day, or by consulting our timepiece? If God gave the merchant seaman GPS, would the sailor please God more by kneeling to pray for guidance, or by steering the ship according to his satellite navigation system? Except for those things expressly commanded or forbidden in Scripture, God expects us to use our heads. Make up your mind and get on with it.