The Conscience Question
“The men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’” Then David went and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak. Afterward David was stricken to the heart because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to raise my hand against him; for he is the Lord’s anointed.” So David scolded his men severely and did not permit them to attack Saul. Then Saul got up and left the cave, and went on his way.”
1 Samuel 24:4-7
When Andy Stanley raised the question in his book, Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets, “Is there tension that deserves my attention?” it was oddly comforting. For as long as I can remember, big decisions have been difficult for me. We’re talking pit in the stomach, gathering opinions of others, losing sleep over it, difficult. It is hard to ignore. I can remember several instances in prayer, asking God for “obvious signs that this was the right path.” Eventually, I would come to a place of peace about the decision and proceed. This part of the book resonated with me.
In Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Greg talks about a societal desire, almost a need, to be in control of every aspect of our lives. Before now, I hadn’t spent much time reading 1 Samuel. Sure, there was my Literature of the Old and New Testament class way back in college, but not much since that time. Stanley was able to bring to light the illustration from 1 Samuel and the tension that soon-to-be-king David was probably working through in the cave with King Saul. Instead of simply killing Saul, David was overcome with clarity about how it couldn’t be right to kill someone that was anointed by the same God who anointed him. Wow. Talk about living in the tension. Paying attention to what is bothering him and why. It would have been easy to make the case of taking the opportunity at hand, “control the outcome” if you will, but to put full trust in God was the right decision for David.
It is hard to give up control of the path to the desired outcome, which makes the decisions that much more difficult. But once you are able to, it is likely you will have fewer regrets.
You are the light of the world and you grant us peace. Help us to know of your presence in our lives and point us in the direction you wish for us. Continue your walk with us in times of uncertainty and times of joy. May we keep shining your light. Amen.
Written by Amy Wagner
Amy has been on staff at Sheridan since 2007, and currently serves as Director of Ministries.
When she is not in the church office, Amy enjoys traveling, working out, serving others, leading some of the Sheridan Habitat trips and being outside in the sunshine.
Amy and her husband, Brent, love the community of Sheridan and are blessed to call this place their church home.