Deciding Between what is Right and what is Expedient
Posted on May 2, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
We all have family and friends who are very different than we are. Some blow their fuses frequently while others never seem rattled. We can be friends and have convictions which are poles apart, yet be friendly.
If you live long enough and become involved in ministry long enough, there will be a time when you will be forced to make difficult decisions. You probably have never read a devotional before that only asks questions and never offers answers. Remember, I want you to think. How would you act in the following scenarios?
- Are you willing to sacrifice your convictions for approval? What does it take for you to decide to bend on principle for personal comfort or gain? What will it take for you to stand for what is right? “Those are weaklings who know the truth and uphold it as long as it suits their purpose, and then abandon it.” — Blaise Pascal
- As Christians we want unity, peace, cooperation. When does personal opinion or ambition overtake logic and spiritual respect? When a person acts irresponsibly, is it acceptable to attempt resolution, and without it, initiate confrontation? “Some Christians who once championed sound doctrine beat a retreat once in a while and from stratospheric heights announce that they will not ‘stoop to controversy’. When man contends for the faith in New Testament style he does not stoop! Contending for the faith is not easy. It is not pleasant business. It has many perils. It is a thankless job, and it is highly unpopular in this age of moral fogs and spiritual twilights. This is a day of diplomats, not prophets. It is nicer to be an appeaser than an opposer. It is the day of Erasmus, not Luther; of Gamaliel, not Paul.” Vance Havner
- What should we do as members of a unique fellowship of believers, i.e., a church, a committee, an organization, etc., when a strong-willed, take-charge person seizes control? When is it time to speak up? When and how should it be handled? “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up.” Martin Niemoller
- How long and how widely known should the situation become before you call in the elders to adjudicate the case and use appropriate measures of discipline on all involved parties? Is it better to try to act quickly to avoid additional harm or to sweep it under the rug and hope it will go away? “Better to be pruned to grow than cut up and burned.” Paul Trapp
- Does hurting a person’s feelings override the Biblical command for than unity and cooperation? “Tact is an intuitive perception of what is proper and fitting; the mental ability of saying and doing the right thing at the right time so as not to unnecessarily offend or anger. This qualification is sadly often conspicuous by its absence and the worker spoils the very work about which he is so concerned.” J. Oswald Sanders
- When a person has been psychologically wounded or disciplined, how should that person be treated? “When a good man is hurt, all who call themselves good must suffer with him.” Euripides
- Is it possible to hold true to your convictions having made them perfectly clear and yet refuse to allow differences to divide or destroy a relationship? Is there a difference between family dynamics and church/social dynamics as in “tough love”? “People need loving the most when they deserve it the least!” John Harrigan
I am encouraging you to think through these questions thoroughly and prayerfully so that when a distressing situation arises it will not catch you unprepared and uninformed. These types of situations are not always predictable; rather, they often strike quickly.
How does the “outside world” view Christians? How do our actions represent Christian love…represent Christ? In researching this, two pollsters point out the following:
- Christians are against more things than they are for.
- I don’t see much difference in the way Christians live compared to others.
- Some Christians try to act as if they have no problems.
- They are judgmental.
- They are hypocrital.
- They stink at friendship.
Thomas Reiner and Carey Nieuhof
Written By Neil Fichthorn Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.
Think About This: “But when the cross is working deeply a believer comes to know himself. He realizes how undependable are his ideas, feelings and desires.”- Watchman Nee
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.