How many times have you heard it said “he doesn’t really have a choice, does he?” or “I don’t have a choice, I have to do this.” or “You have no choice, go do…”
The reality is, you always have a choice in what you think, say, and do. Yes, always. Our choices are influenced by what we perceive to be the consequences of our decision. Yes, perceive because our reasoning is often faulty. Sometimes, you may not recognize that you have a choice because the circumstances are huge, overwhelming and overpowering. And yet, the reality is, you absolutely do.
Something is always influencing you leading you to make a choice. The choices you make will show the foundation you are standing on and your value system. Yes, it is a healthful choice, a biblical choice, to submit to our authority, for instance our boss on the job. God is the one who raises up our bosses, or those in authority. “And He changes the times and the seasons, He removes kings and sets up kings; He grants wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding.” Daniel 2:21 “My son, fear the Lord and the king; do not mingle with dualists (another word is rebellious) Proverbs 24:21
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” Romans 13:1
However what if this authority is doing things that are illegal, or immoral and there is the expectation that you are to remain silent or show your support in some way? Some examples might be cutting corners that could result in a dangerous situation, fabricating stories, manufacturing evidence, cooking the books. Do you cozy up to your boss and look the other way because you value your perceived job security or image more than you do honesty? Another way to look at it is, and this is harsh way to word it but an honest one. Do you have a backbone when it comes to standing up for what is right? Or are you a wimp, bending with every shifting wind regardless of what the wind is carrying, clinging on to your job, perceived job security and concerned what the consequences of upsetting the status quo might be?
“If you have become lax, on a day of trouble your strength will be weak indeed.” (Another translation reads “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.“) Proverbs 24:10
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Hebrews 12:1-3
It can feel extremely uncomfortable, painful, scary if you feel that your job may be at risk if you don’t go along with the status quo, regardless of whether or not it is honorable. You may very well be taking a risk with your job. Or you may not. However if you are, does that mean that you should look the other way when something is way off base in what your boss is doing and expecting you to follow along with? For many, there is the belief that it is you alone out there in this world. For those who have received salvation, hopefully you know there is someone higher and outside of ourselves. Of course we may suffer the natural consequences for our actions, but behaving out of fear is forgetting that it is God who gave us the talents that enabled us to do this job, God who provided this job, God who is allowing the situation we are enduring, and God who will make the way, one way or another. God will provide for you what you need.
“Who prepares for the raven his prey, when his young cry out to God, they wander for lack of food?” Job 38:41
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the fied, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34
So, it is a choice, in all things in life, to serve God, with all the rewards and yes, at times hardships that it brings, or to serve oneself in an attempt to make our life easier, or “save ourselves.”
“And if it displeases you to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell, but as for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Praying that you will be strengthened this day!