It's Simple. Right?
There's a quote in the film, God's Not Dead: "It's not easy, but it's simple."
The "it," if I remember correctly, refers to doing the right thing, to walking the Christian walk even when it becomes difficult. And though it may seem like a case of semantic gymnastics, this line always stayed with me. How often do we make the decisions in our lives so complicated—tangled with rationalizations and hidden motives and justifications and catastrophizing—until we really believe that those decisions are complicated when really . . . they're just hard?
Let's start with this example. I'm on the bus to school (and have been since what feels like the crack of dawn) when we finally make that last stop where all the city kids climb aboard at once. Someone sits down next to me—a kid I don't know who doesn't know me and, let's face it, is probably higher up on the social ladder. We acknowledge each other vaguely. The bus starts moving. God has handed me an opportunity to shine to someone but what should I do?
She probably doesn't want to talk—I wouldn't. She's on her phone, maybe having a conversation with someone—wouldn't it be rude to interrupt? She has no idea who I am, so it would be weird if I just struck up a conversation with her—I mean, come on, do people still do that?
Somehow, I've taken a simple choice and tangled it up so terribly that I can now deceive myself into thinking, "I don't know what I should do."
Please. I know exactly what I should do. I just don't want to do it.
In II Corinthians 11:3, Paul warns the Corinthians not to be "corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." It's highlighted in my Bible now in soft purple ink, the colour of importance. Because we know that Christ is worthwhile, we know that he is good, we know that he is right and everything we need in this life and the next, but isn't it true that we also make him complicated? That we make our Christian walk the furthest thing from simple?
Yes, we have a high standard to strive for. Yes, following Christ is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment challenge. Yes, sometimes it means doing things that are miserable, frightening, awkward. But at the end of the day, our job, while difficult, is really fairly simple. We are to become more like him. We have an instruction manual, a perfect pattern to follow, a 24-hour hotline to heaven, and an internal compass that points to God himself because he is God himself.
So the next time we find ourselves asking the question, "What should I do?" let's take a moment. Let's step back far enough to see the situation and our hearts for what they are and ask a different question: "Jesus, would you please help me to do what I should do?"
Things can get complicated—I'm not trying to belittle that! But maybe, just maybe, they seem complicated more often than they actually are.
Sometimes, the right thing to do is simple. It's just not easy.
But good news: that means we're probably on the right track.