Do we control our future or do we follow God’s plan?

Neither. I realize that is not a helpful answer when we are trying to make decisions. However, many factors beyond our control have an effect on our future. We cannot follow a plan when we do not know what the plan is.

So, is there any help from our spiritual understandings when we need to make decisions? Yes. Definitely.

Two passages should come to mind immediately when making any decision: Matthew 22:37 [Jesus said] “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

These passages give us some guidelines about our decisions. They do not give any guarantees about the future outcomes. We are simply given some questions to answer when we decide something:

Does it come from a love of God? Of others? Of ourselves?
Is it just?
Does it show kindness?

All of these are important. Sometimes they may seem to be in conflict. That is when we really need to rely on the Spirit of God to give us wisdom. A power greater than ourselves is required to determine outcomes. Our part is to love sincerely, act justly and to show kindness.

There will be times when being loving, just and kind can be costly to us personally. We can be tempted to think that God no longer loves us. It is important then that we do not equate prosperity and easy living with God’s approval and love. In fact, Jesus’ life shows us that love is hard work and creating a more just world can demand sacrifice.

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