This morning I met with a younger guy for coffee. He’s about 27, is working in a retail job he hates, and is at a fork in the road regarding his career. He wanted to ask me questions about construction, non-profit work, and generally making wise decisions according to God’s Will in a world full of options. We had a great conversation, and it was a pleasure for me to share some of the pearls I’ve picked-up along the winding path of my own life. I remembered feeling the same way many years ago. One specific thing I remember from those days is the feeling of absolute DREAD that, if I made a wrong decision, I would totally screw-up God’s master plan for my life…and spend the rest of my life hurting because of it. There is this belief, which is held onto by many but which I consider to be unbiblical/false teaching, that God has pre-written a very detailed script for each of our lives…all our decisions, relationships, circumstances, etc….and that our job is to figure it out so that we can be “in His will.”
Now, don’t get me wrong here. Scripture is very clear, often, that God has plans for our lives….and even uses the word “predestination” in some places. But if we read carefully, we find that God is much more concerned about our characters than our circumstances….in fact, some of God’s greatest work in Biblical people and modern people alike is born out of failures, unwise decisions, and outright sin. God does not condone or promote our frail tendencies toward sin, but we should all be eternally grateful that His Will in our lives is not limited by it! God’s will is about who we are and how we honor Him with our lives…how that plays-out is, I believe, is up to us. Romans 8:28 is a key in unlocking this.
Here’s a closing email I just sent to my friend,