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Reflections of a Lay Pastor: July 29th 2018: More decisions!

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Reflections of a Lay Pastor: July 29th 2018: More decisions!

Continuing the theme of decisions, I am prompted to think about decisions that I regret, because doing so might help me make better decisions in future.  Looking back, it seems that some decisions had unforeseen, unintended consequences, but that other decisions were just bad. 

Avoiding unforeseen, unintended consequences requires that I think things through a bit more before acting.  In this connection, I would like to commend the many groups that make decisions in our church and nation, where it would have been easier for just one person to take action.  Our building improvement for growth team is a good example.  Over the last four years, this team has met 49 times and counting, on Sunday nights mainly, for up to four hours.  One memorable meeting was devoted to viewing film taken as a camera travelled through our existing drainage system, to try to understand how we rid the building of effluent.  Every detail of our proposed new build has been debated, and sometimes I come away with the realisation that, left to myself, I would have made bad decisions, other times they would just have had unforeseen, unintended consequences.  It is hard work making good decisions about important projects especially when spending other people’s money.

Most of my “just bad” decisions, however, were those I took in anger.  Nothing wrong, intrinsically, with anger, if your blood pressure can take it, but speaking in anger has never served me well.  There are a whole bunch of decisions taken in anger that come to my memory with shame.  I have offended, unfairly criticised, and annoyed people who might have been allies and friends.

I wonder;  did Jesus ever regret decisions that he made?  Did he regret conversing with so many women?  Did he regret uprooting the disciples from honest trades like tax collecting?  Did he regret curing the leper who ignored his injunction to keep quiet?  Did he regret taking his mission to gentiles, when he could have spent more time trying to get the Pharisees on board?  Did he regret going quietly to torture and death, when he could so easily have avoided that?  Did he regret leaving home and craft, abandoning the quiet life, to pursue his mission?

Perhaps he did, perhaps he didn’t.

My concern is to make more good decisions and fewer bad ones.  A bit of thoughtful reflection after the manner that Jesus adopted throughout his short life, should help.

About the Author:

Mervyn has worked as an engineer, as a teacher and headteacher in comprehensive schools, as a university lecturer and latterly as a dry-stone waller, and lay pastor of the church. He also serves as Eco Officer. His hobbies include walking and he leads holidays in Italy and here in the UK, especially holidays for families. He has been a local preacher in the Methodist Church for fifty years and has been riding motorbikes for slightly longer. He is married to the girl of his dreams and has several children and grandchildren of whom he is inordinately proud.

One Comment

  1. Tom July 22, 2018 at 9:02 am - Reply

    I agree, I’ve made some bad decisions when I was annoyed and angry. Jesus never regretted anything because he is God in flesh form, when Jesus was angry in the temple and overturned tables, this was a righteous anger. Everything he did on the earth when he was here in flesh form was carefully planned and executed to fulfil the prophecies of the old testament. Praise Jesus he died and rose again for our sins so we might be saved if we believed in him. Jesus never regretted any decisions because he is God. There is no way to gain eternal life but through him.

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