I love lists. My daily to-do list helps me stay focused on my priorities. I have several lists on the notes app on my phone: books to read, blog posts to write, gift ideas, and several other lists of things. In addition to these written lists, I carry countless lists in my head as well. There is one type of list that seems to create itself in my head even if I’m not thinking about it: a “pros and cons” list.
Whenever I’m making a big decision or have an impending life change, I find myself thinking of the pros and cons, the positives and negatives. I’m sure this is a completely natural part of the decision making process of many people. In fact, many people probably write out a list of pros and cons before making a big decision! However, I seem to carry around this list in my head. Although there can be wisdom in these considerations, last night God convicted me of my obsession with pros and cons.
As I talked to friends at church last night about our upcoming move to Tennessee, I realized I kept saying things like, “That’s a positive about moving,” or, “That’s a negative about moving.” Throughout the whole decision making process, I’ve thought of everything in terms of positives and negatives. But when I got home last night, I was thinking about that mentality, and God brought some verses to mind from my Bible reading earlier that day:
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Paul went to Jerusalem not knowing what was going to happen to him there. He did know that God was going to do a great work, and he realized there would likely be suffering. But none of that mattered to him. He wasn’t thinking of his life in terms of pros and cons; he was simply determined to follow God’s will.
It may take some effort because I’ve come to be in such a habit of my mental pros and cons list, but I want to stop thinking of life in terms of pros and cons and start thinking simply in terms of what God’s will is. I know it’s God’s will for us to serve Him in Tennessee in this next season of our life. I don’t know exactly what is going to happen there. But I know God is going to do a work. Maybe there will be suffering; this sin-cursed world is full of it. But none of that matters. The only thing that matters is following God’s leading. What about you? Do you keep a mental pros and cons list? Or are you simply following God’s leading, trusting Him for the outcome? Serving Him will always be worth it.