Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Deeply Contemplating or Just Stalling

One of the things I love about today's young people is their ability to think and reflect on a deeper level. When I was a young adult, I do not remember having to contemplate as many deep issues in my life as today's young people. It seems that today's young people are surrounded by difficulties and calamities on every hand. Family troubles, financial troubles, political turmoil, climate change, terrorism, and physical and sexual abuse are all issues that today's young adults deal with on a regular basis. Perhaps this explains why so many young adults are filled with despair and confusion.

I believe that the despair and confusion that is so prevalent among young adults can only be overcome by the power of Jesus Christ. As His love comes into our lives it cleanses us, restores us, renews us and sets us on a right path. In my ministry to young adults I try to get them to think deeply and to contemplate spiritual issues. It is only through such deep thinking and inward reflection that they will find the spiritual strength needed to survive in such a harsh world.

But after many years of working with young adults, I have come to realize that there is a fine line between deep contemplation and just stalling. Some young adults have done enough contemplating to make a decision about spiritual things, but they are unwilling to do so because they realize it will bring significant change into their lives. Even though they know they need that change and that the resulting change will have a positive impact on life, they are still hesitate to follow through on those commitments. At some point their deep contemplation has become a smoke screen for stalling.

Perhaps it is a commitment to become a Christian, or to be baptized. Perhaps it is a commitment to break off a relationship that is having a negative influence. Perhaps it is a commitment to give up a bad habit or start a new good habit. Once a person begins to ignore the truth they know deep inside, they begin to suffer inwardly. When a person gets to the point where they know what they should do, but are not willing to do it, they actually begin to move backwards instead of forwards in their journey through life.

I am not suggesting that we should stop contemplating deep issues in life and make hasty decisions about things. I am simply saying that once we have thought an issue through and our inner self knows what we should do, then we must take action. We cannot use contemplation as a stalling technique for not doing what we know is right.

As we consider what God has been saying to us in our lives lately, what has He clearly made known to us? What has He clearly spoken to us about and revealed His will on? If we are unwilling to do what we know to be true, how can we expect to gain additional insights and understanding about life? We must act on what we already know and then trust God to guide us in the things that we have yet to understand. If it requires great change, so be it. So contemplate deeply, and then take action!

6 comments:

  1. Stalling – yes. Pride gets in the way and it only gets worse until the surrenders are made. Enjoyed this and will apply it as I teach.

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  2. I don't think your assertion applies only to young adults! I think it applies to everyone. We encounter something similar often--and I believe you've captured the basic reason: it means I'll have to give up something or it will mean change! Thanks for sharing this.

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  3. I personally often stall using this technique because I wait for some guidance or sanction from either myself or some authority figure (be it parents, god, etc...).

    It is difficult, with so many choices, to strike the correct measure twice, cut once method, rather than the cut first method, or the measure until the choice goes away method.

    It's also my experience that the more time you take trying to sound intellectual, proving and rehashing minor points, and such, the more people will listen to what you say. Sad but often true.

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  4. I have to admit that sometimes I say "let me pray about it" as a way to not really have to deal with the subject.

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  5. This is a great post. I just had one of the ‘Doh!’ moments and ran back to correct my own site before publishing my comment. You see my own comment form did not match what I’m about to advice. I get less comment than you, so never noticed any problem. I’ve changed it now anyway so here goes.

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