Every couple of years Nan & I attend an international Christian counseling conference in Nashville. One of the hard tasks is picking out the tracks (classes) that we will attend. There are so many that are enticing. Do we go to tracks that our friends are teaching, or do we go to the really popular ones, or do we choose tracks that will challenge our thinking?
John Townsend is presenting one that besides being popular also sounds intriguing. The title is: The Hard Way is the Right Way: Helping People Face What Must be Faced, and Succeed.
I think of the many times I want to follow my feelings and bail out on a hard decision. Then I remind myself that not making a decision is a decision in itself. Ouch! If you are like me, you don’t like conflict. But I know that the path to resolving problems often takes us through the anxiety-producing valley of conflict.
I think of people I know who are facing a lot of financial turmoil. No choice seems to be a good one. There will be loss involved in any decision that they make. Having to choose a painful process is really hard. But it is the right thing to do if getting back to stability is their goal.
What hard choices do you have to face?
- Letting go of a bad relationship?
- Staying in a difficult marriage because you made a commitment before God and others?
- Making decisions about an aging parent?
- Doing an intervention on an addicted family member?
- Letting a child face the consequences of their bad choices?
- Turning down a lucrative but immoral business decision?
- Accepting reality when a fantasy is satisfying?
- Standing up for your faith when you know you will be rejected or ridiculed?
I’ll bet all of you could add to this list. I know I could. Really what we are talking about here is following your values rather when they are in conflict with your feelings. And perhaps that means really struggling to clarify and establish your values. Ultimately we will follow what we actually believe. If I don’t believe God is able to see me through a painful place, I will likely fold.