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  • Writer's pictureBrett

The Pandemic is over (almost), Now it is your turn....

Speaking only for myself, this was my first pandemic. I don’t want to be too hard on myself for how I handled everything. At a minimum, I got through it. Most days I think I did ok, but yeah I had a few clunkers in there too. I would probably give myself a B-/C+ if I had to grade it.

How about you? What grade would you give yourself for Pandemic Management 101? Again keep in mind for most of us, this is our first go around with a planet wide virus.

The virus responses by the government, your employer, and our health officials made several decisions for us. Like where you work, how your kids would get educated, and what was allowed to be open and what was closed. All the things, you know the list.

Most of us don’t like decisions being made for us at even at 8 years old certainly not at 42! We don’t like being told what to do. There are somethings about this attitude that are good and some things about this attitude that are bad.

While not everything is no holds barred, you are getting your decision making back. What are you going to do with your new found freedom?

Your situation is not like mine so I won’t try to tell you what you should do. I would like to suggest a couple of simple and effective guidelines as you start enjoying your FREEDOM.

Go Last. I don’t mean wait until everyone else has decided before you do anything. Just don’t make your future decisions with a me first approach. I know you know…everyone knows. We know from our childhood the selfish person is the last person we want to be or be around. But selfish is so easy.

When I am just being myself, myself is selfish. I don’t even have to try, it comes naturally!

Me first is me at my worst. When I go first and put myself first I am believing a lie. I believe the lie that no one (especially God) cares for me enough. If I don't put me first, who will? God actually cares more for you than you even care for you! Basing decisions on a lie is a bad idea, it doesn’t go well.

Every time I choose to be my selfish I am choosing the worst version of me and trying to find life in something destined to fail. All the while ignoring what God has done and what God has promised to do.

Stop Settling. Wait you just said don’t be selfish. This is a different kind of settling. This is a settling that says, “the substitute is just as good”. It never is.

For example, does anyone think Mr. Pibb is as good as Dr. Pepper? Of course not.

It doesn't taste as good. One is a Doctor the other is only a Mr. Besides all that, even the can looks second rate. It just isn't good enough.

Your relationship with God is a place where substitutes suck the life out of you. It is never just as good.

Yet we believe the lies (it is good enough to just get to church now and then, I will fit God in when I have some time, today I need to choose what is easy instead of what is best, I have good intentions).

Surely these are close enough. Surely God didn’t mean what He said. This seems like a good substitute. But the substitute is just that, a substitute. When we settle, we miss the real thing. Settling can never be better than the real.

It doesn’t. It can’t. It won’t.

Take the Long Cut. Sorry I couldn’t think of the opposite of short cut! There are no short cuts to anywhere worth going. You can’t short cut your way to a great marriage, good health, financial stability, or following Jesus. The things that matter most, require the most attention.

In your rush to start making decisions and exercising your freedom, don’t believe the lie that you know better. That’s the allure of the short cut. The rules don’t apply to you. You know better than everyone else. They all may need to go that way…but I don’t.

I can find a better way than what Jesus has commanded. I know a better way to manage my marriage, I can find a different way to health, I can squeeze enough God in, like a side hustle, and then still live life the way I want.

Decisions end up being high stakes. Maybe you aren’t deciding about who keeps their jobs or how the city is run but your decisions impact everyone you know.

When you are selfless, you are you at your best. When you refuse to settle for substitutes you become more authentic. Staying course invites you to live fully in the parts of life that matter most.

This approach to your freedom and decision making also serves as a wall around your family and friends. They experience you as caring, real and responsible. They feel safe around you.

Your neighbors notice too. You can’t hide selfless, authentic and consistent living. Today more than ever it sticks out like a sore thumb because it is uncommon. In a place where the average person is selfish, settling and looking for short cuts….it shines like a light when you reject the lies and make decisions in a different way. Your neighbors notice.

Reject the lies. Enjoy making your own decisions.

Go get your freedom on!

Want to find out more about these decision making guides. Check out our series Big Choices on our YouTube channel. It is under the Past Series section. Big Choices


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