Someone has said, "First thoughts are not always the best." As human beings we need to think through our thoughts and ideas. While spontaneity can be refreshing, because we are prone to make mistakes, we need to pause and consider our words and our steps. Not only is this true before making a decision but it is true along the way. Reflection is necessary because we are finite creatures and in addition to that we have to deal with the complicating factor of sin in our lives. Sin can cloud our vision and confuse our reasoning process so that what at first appeared to be a good idea, does not appear so wonderful upon further reflection or the passage of time. When this happens we need the wisdom and resolve to make the necessary changes to get back on track and going in a more profitable direction.
All of this is part of the larger issue of knowing the will of God for our lives. This is something that all Christians puzzle over at one time or other. Sometimes the will of God is plain and clearly revealed in the Scriptures as in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 where we are told that God wills our sanctification. And there are other times when there are obvious principles that apply to a variety of situations. For example, in 1 Corinthian 10:31 we are told to do everything to the glory of God. But there are times when we are faced with very specific decisions where we do not have a direct word from God. In those situations I think we need to make sure we are not violating any biblical principles and then make the best decision we can at the time given all the circumstances as we see them. We also need to remember that God is able to bring ultimate good out of our choices even when they are less than optimal. Joseph's brothers intended evil but God used their folly to accomplish his saving purposes. God is able to do the same thing in our lives today.
So here in the month of February, as I wait for spring, it is a good time to evaluate what is going on around me. I do not believe in blindly carrying on when there is no hope of change or anything better. Life is too short and there is too much need in the world to coddle those with so many toys and distractions that they have no time for the gospel. In this regard there is an interesting biblical injunction that needs to be pondered more than it is: "As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town" (Matthew 10:12-14). Even though these verses must be interpreted contextually and cannot be reapplied today in a simple one-on-one manner, they do say something about moving forward in the kingdom and not beating the proverbial "horse to death". Once again, wisdom is needed.