Are we struggling with decisions in our lives? Does our desire to know exactly what is the right thing to do paralyze us into doing nothing? This wonderful excerpt by Father Jacques Philippe will give us peace of heart, knowing that our intentions, our good will, is sufficient to please Our Lord, even if we sometimes mess up in our decisions.
Often we torment ourselves excessively regarding our decisions. As there is a false humility, a false compassion, we can also say that, concerning our decisions, there is sometimes that which one could call a “false obedience” to God. We would like always to be absolutely certain of doing God’s will in all of our choices and never to be mistaken. But, there is, in this attitude, something that is not exactly right for a variety of reasons.
For one thing, this desire to know what God wants sometimes hides a difficulty in enduring a situation of incertitude. We want to be released from having to decide by ourselves. But, frequently, the will of the Lord is that we do decide for ourselves, even if we are not absolutely sure that this decision would be the best.
In effect, in this capacity to decide in incertitude, in doing that which seems to us best without spending hours equivocating, there is an attitude of confidence and abandonment: “Lord, I have though about it and prayed to know Your will. I do not see it clearly, but I am not going to trouble myself any further.
I am not going to spend hours racking my brain. I am deciding such and such a thing because, all thing carefully considered, it seems to me the best thing to do. And I leave everything in Your hands. I know well that, even if I am mistaken, You will not be displeased with me, for I have acted with good intentions.
And if I have made a mistake, I know that you are able to draw good from this error. It will be for me a source of humility and I will learn something from it !”
And I remain a peace.
For another thing, we would love to be infallible, to never be wrong, but there is a lot of pride in this desire and there is also the fear of being judged by others. The one, on the contrary, who accepts peacefully the idea of being wrong from time to time and accepts that others know it manifests true humility and a true love of God.
On the other hand, let us not have a false idea of what God requires of us. God is our Father, good and compassionate, Who knows the shortcomings of His children, the limitations of our judgement.
He asks of us goodwill, the right intentions, but in no way does He demand that we would be infallible and that all of our decisions would be perfect! And additionally, if all our decisions were perfect, this would, without doubt, do us more harm that good! We would quickly take ourselves for supermen.
To conclude, the Lord loves him more who knows how to decide for himself without equivocating, even when he is uncertain, and who abandons himself with confidence to God as to the consequences, rather than the one who torments his spirit unceasingly in an effort to know what God expects of him and who never decides.
Because, there is, in the first attitude, more abandonment, confidence and therefore love, than in the second.
God loves those who make their way with freedom of spirit and who don’t “split hairs” too much over the details. Perfectionism doesn’t have much to do with sanctity.
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