Circa 2002, I made the first of several visits to the King Center and Center for Non-Violent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. At the time I was a college student and I was highly impacted by Dr. Martin Luther King and his unwavering commitment to justice and peace. I made up my mind then that I wanted to be like Dr. King. I wanted to be courageous and peaceful in the face of evil and committed to loving people with the sacrificial love of Jesus.
I have since developed a mantra that has followed me into Christian leadership, “decide now.”
When I am speaking with a young lady about sexual purity, I always advise her to choose now what she will do if and when she faced with sexual pressure or temptation. In the moment, there is no time to think. As adults, most of us are fully aware of the emotional and physical turmoil happening in that moment, and it is not the ideal time for making any decisions!
So, what is a young woman to do? She is to choose today when she is fully present and alert, what her next move will be in that moment.
Adult decisions are also complicated. In our climate today we must also “decide now.” As a nation, we have been bombarded with division. The Coronavirus has left us scrambling to decide if we should take the trip, wear the mask, see the person, so on and so forth. The aftermath of those decisions has left us to choose how we treat people when they don’t reach the same conclusion that we do.
It would seem the racial divide in our country has expanded. The racial tension, inequalities, injustice, misunderstandings, lack of compassion, violence, and innocent deaths have sent everyone reeling. I believe the mantra still applies. Decide now.
“…choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
These words from the book of Joshua are part of Joshua’s charge to the Israelites as they began their new life in the Promised Land. Joshua could say in confidence that he and his people had made their decision. What about you?
Will you extend grace and mercy to someone who disagrees with you? Decide now.
Will you react violently or in anger in the face of evil? Decide now.
Will you be a person of peace in the midst of a crisis? Decide now.
Will you speak up for the oppressed, the weak, or the marginalized? Decide now.
Will you offer a shoulder to cry on when an African American brother or sister weeps for justice? Decide now.
Will you choose to love others? Decide now.
Sometimes the most important decisions in our lives have long since been decided in our hearts. As believers, we have decided to follow Jesus, everything about our lives will forever reflect that decision. Decide today to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God and your fellow man.