Recently while reading a book by Eugene Peterson, I was awakened to what it means when I choose to follow the world versus following Christ. Every time we say “no” to something it means we are saying “yes” to something else. Sounds simple enough right? Stay with me…
Psalm 1 says that where we walk, stand, and sit are crucial. When we decide to walk somewhere that contradicts God’s commands we are saying no to Him and yes to the world. When we stand in continual sin without repentance we are saying no to Him and yes to the world. When we sit with people who mock the things that God calls sacred we are saying no to Him and yes to the world. See where I’m going with this?
I can convince myself that saying yes to the world doesn’t affect my relationship with God. I can begin to believe that my life can be put into compartments and God has the key to whichever ones I choose, but I’d be believing a lie. Saying yes to something that directly contradicts God’s Truth means I am saying no to that Truth, in other words calling it a lie.
Either way you look at it, whether it’s saying yes or saying no the opposite happens every time. Take an example from parenting. Recently this conversation happened with my three year old:Mya: Mommy, can I have some “kittles”? (translation: skittles – she struggles with “s” words!) Me: No, it’s almost dinner time, you don’t need any sugar right now. Mya: But Mommy I want “kittles”! Me: No, Mya not right now.
In saying no to the “kittles” I was saying yes to caring about my daughter’s health…and teeth! See how that works? Every time we say no to something we are automatically saying yes to something else whether we realize it or not. Think about the yes and no decisions you made today, what things did you say yes to? In saying yes, what did you say no to? Was it a yes to a salad at lunch instead of a cheeseburger? Was it a yes to going on a run instead of sleeping a little longer? Or maybe it was a no to believing that you’ll never amount to anything or you’ll never reach your goals and in turn saying yes to the great potential planted inside by your Creator God.
It boils down to this, we have a choice every day to say no to the world and when we do, we say yes to God and His ways. The road might be a little bumpy, twisty, scary, and unpredictable but at least it doesn’t lead to death. Maybe as you are reading this you’re saying, “DUH, Abi didn’t you know this?” But I would guess that, like me, this whole train of thought will challenge you in every decision you make from what you eat, to what you watch, to job decisions, to relationships, and the list could go on.
My life is not a series of compartments where things are kept separate and God affects only a few parts, but rather my life is affected in every part by the love and grace that comes from God, my Creator, who is creating still a masterpiece out of my broken pieces.