James 2:24

Have you ever been in front of the dilemma where you have to choose between thinking the right thing and doing the right thing? If you have, and you’ve chosen to actually DO the right thing, have you ever felt like it doesn’t really add sunshine to your cold winter days or draw smiles onto your faces or even bring that inner peace that you so hoped you would get?

Lately, I found myself exactly in the situation that I have just described in the introduction. You see I had a choice, and I already knew the answer of every question in my head. And it all came down to this conclusion: I say yes, and choose to change my life as a believer, or I say no, and choose to stay in it. Now in theory and in actions some people know where they stand, and have no second thoughts at all. How blessed are they, right?! However, with some of us, especially those who are still growing in Christ, are somehow seduced by whatever the other part of the world offers, and saying no without second thoughts, with great certainty, and without having “ what if…”s is unfortunately somewhat more challenging.

Having said that, we all know that in our nature we, humans, are or tend to be nosy. Most of us, if not all, have that interest to explore the world around us. But my question here is how far can we go in exploring? And to what extent can we explore without risking our belief and Christianity? In his book, Esther, Charles R. Swindoll explains how people in severe conditions (hate, jealousy, greediness…) may carry out the most heinous of sins, and this is what he says about this issue: “The same animal-like nature resides in me, and it resides in you… And were it not for the presence of grace and the miraculous deliverance of Jesus Christ at work within us, controlling our passions and urging us to forgive and move on, it would consume us” (Swindoll, 1997, pp.68).

His point is clear enough, isn’t it? The man is basically saying that, believers and none believers come from the same nature. And it is my personal belief that when we’re born we have equal amount of percentages to do good and/or evil, and it is what our environment and our own deeds that nurtures one of the two in our character. So the probability of us losing our faith, ourselves, and most importantly Christ in our lives is present, and sadly it is available in high percentages too.

So where does that put us now?

Luckily, sometimes there are verses in the Bible that stick in our heads no matter how long ago we have read them. One of those verses with me happens to be Mathew 5:37, which says: “Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’, and your ‘no’ be ‘no’…”

You’re probably wondering what this verse has to do with my topic; I mean the questions I’ve raised are not yes or no questions, right?! However, what I see in this verse, and what I’ve always seen in it is the importance of being consistent. What I see in this verse is being responsible, that is, if one has made a choice one must stick up to it, handle it, and endure it. This verse tells me: make up your mind, choose, use your freedom of choice that God has granted you from the beginning and choose anything you want but decide! Raise your voice and speak!

But, on the other side, I also see a warning in it. Somehow, through this verse I hear God’s voice telling me that whatever my choice is I will be held accountable to it. Surely, this is just my own understanding of this verse.

Thus, my fellow friends and siblings in Christ our Lord, I somehow realized that I cannot choose both lives. Yes, somehow realized, because I know that I knew I can’t choose both lives, I know that I should choose a single path and walk in it consistently, regardless all the stumbling stones along the way and the endless temptations this world offers. But this time it was different for I felt it on my skin. I am still tempted though, so I need your help, I need your prayers. Even more, I believe that we all need help and prayers in this area, since we are all tempted by something or some things one way or another. So, NO, I am not ashamed to share this with you, for this shows that I am growing in Christ. Therefore, my prayers are that all of us may keep always growing in Christ and in the Holy Spirit. And I guess my perfect conclusion to this article would be by quoting from James 2:24, that says: “We please God by what we do and not only what we believe.”

A. Tahazian
Aline Tahazian