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Cause and effect is a relationship between events or things, where one is the result of the other or others. This is a combination of action and reaction (taken from examples.yourdictionary.com). For example, if a person smokes, there is a possibility that he or she may develop lung cancer. Or, if a glass is filled too full, the water will overflow, as seen above.
In our day to day lives, we can often encounter the principle of cause and effect. The principle can be seen on various scales, like if you eat poorly for a lengthy period of time, weight gain is inevitable. Or, that a gambling addiction can cause financial ruin. We have all experienced cause and effect on some level.
Recently, a man came across his own cause and effect...dilemna. It involved an inner battle, deciding between getting back into a familiar, but disliked, job situation that would have a negative effect on his mental, physical, and spiritual well being, or have the patience and faith to believe that something better would come along.
To an outsider, the answer may be quite simple. Take the well paying, short term position and tough it out while building up the bank account. After all, the pros of accepting the role outweighed the cons of the deliberation, or did they?
For this man, they didn't because he has come into a better understanding of himself as it relates to his faith. He has reached a profound place that is demanding he make wiser, more honoring decisions that will, ultimately, have lasting effects. Personal effects. Eternal effects. Here is where the dilemma deepens.
As people...humans, we are prone to wanting our own way at all times, no matter what. We want what feels good and suits us best. Anything uncomfortable or unreasonable that doesn't fall in line with our 'life plan' is quickly done away with. We don't want to be inconvenienced or make any sacrifices on the way to fulfilling our selfish ambitions.
The man, the one facing a difficult and, most likely, compromising decision has admitted to wanting, or not wanting, things his way. While logic and practicality have always been a part of his makeup, there is now something deeper that gnaws at him. A gnawing he can no longer ignore but adds to his inner battle.
Does he compromise his values and beliefs in exchange for security? Who wouldn't want that? We all long to have financial security. We want to know that everything will be okay as long as we save like a mad man to retire at a certain age and live a lifestyle we have become accustomed to. We'll even put a little extra aside for the unexpected.
After all, we might want to travel extensively and spoil ourselves on a few things we've never experienced. There's nothing wrong with that, after all, is there? It's fine to want the best in life and to compromise a few things here and there as long as it isn't illegal, right?
What about the compromise of peace, contentment, and joy? Would you be willing to lay those things aside to work a job you hate in exchange for a bigger bank account and guilt? For the man in this situation, he is not willing. He wants more than just the peace of mind knowing he did the right thing even though it meant choosing a completely different path.
A path that might bring mocking and disbelief from friends and family. A path that, rarely walked, holds confidence and a clear conscience having done what's right, wise, and noble. See, he wants to live a life that honors God. He wants to know that the choices he made throughout his life meant something. Not just to himself, but to his kids and grandkids.
That he can leave a legacy of character and integrity behind, in hopes of others charting the same course. That he will live according to his values and beliefs, without waivering. That compromise, in any form, is unacceptable.
So, after being in this dilemma for over a week, the man has a deep peace in saying, "No" to the job and waiting for the best to come along. He can rest assured that he won't compromise himself for things that are contrary to what has been deeply set into his heart as a result of his relationship with God.
Though some may see his decision as crazy and unbelievable, there is no mistaking in living out a life of faith with a knowledge that the best is right around the corner. With a little bit more time and, certainly, patience, this man's cause will have a lasting and eternal effect.
Encouragement for the week:
Have you ever found yourself in a cause that would bring a plethora of effects you weren't quite prepared for?
Would you be willing to compromise yourself for a short period of time in exchange for security? If you were, would it really be worth it?
If you are a Christian, you know that you have been set apart by God to make better, wiser decisions that come along. That the peace you have because of those wiser decisions is far better than the detrimental effect that compromise can have. Never falter on your values and beliefs when the world pressures you to. Stay strong.
If you are not a Christian, you can look for Jesus and find the peace that comes in making the right decisions with a clear and guiltless conscience. That a good night's sleep is worth doing the right thing as part of having a relationship with God.