I wrote recently on the fact that life does not always go as planned, and that can be frustrating if you are a planner like myself. Another week of homeschool has gone by and we are about to make some more changes to the plans that I made for our family. While I believe this change is going to be good, it is also a little frustrating because I put a lot of thought into the original plans. With that being said, my thoughts have turned to the idea of being flexible. Sometimes this can be good, and sometimes – not so much.
What situations are best to be flexible in?
Like I mentioned in my last post, plans will change, and you have a choice in how you react to this. For example, it could be that a flat tire means you can’t go meet a friend you haven’t seen in a while. While this is disappointing, you have a choice. You can let this completely get you down, or you can realize that these things happen. I encourage you to study and implement Philippians 4:8-9 and pray about your disappointment.
What if the change you are dealing with is bigger than just this? Perhaps sickness, job loss, people breaking promises, or even death has come your way. Maybe you are being hit by more than one of these. On the other hand, it could be that someone is treating you badly because of your faithfulness to Christ. If it is persecution, know that “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12”. While this is an intimidating thought, it is going to happen. While this is something that needs to be accepted, so also is the fact that God promises to never give you more “fiery trials” than you can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). That includes the everyday things as well as pointed oppression. As painful as trials are, they serve a purpose. I encourage you to study 1 Peter. There are some really great verse by verse lessons available through Tullstar from the 2016 TLC Retreat that were a great encouragement to me that you should check out.
God wants us to know that we are not here alone. He did not leave us to figure it all out on our own. When you don’t know what to do – ask Him (Proverbs 3: 5-6 & James 1: 5-6)! God gave us His Word, and when we, in turn, put it into our hearts by studying it, He is telling us what to do. This requires trusting Him. To be perfectly honest, that is something that has been on my mind a lot lately; and I understand is not always easy. Something that has brought me much comfort is Christ’s words at the end of Matthew: “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” Amen. Matthew 28:20.
When can being flexible be bad?
While many situations call for flexibility, sometimes we need to dig in and see something through. You need to be able to commit. Without commitment to an ultimate goal, your flexibility can turn into fickleness. I smile as I write this because of some of the changes we are making with our curriculum choices and scheduling issues. I need to trust this decision and not be ready to flip flop next week. If I don’t, I would not be a good steward of my time or money. So, believe me, I am writing to myself here.
Before I sign off, I also want to mention another time it is not good to be flexible, and that is in your faithfulness to God. God’s Word is infallible. There are some who are flexible in their interpretation of Scripture or the need to submit themselves to it. Perhaps somebody you love has decided to indulge in something God spoke against, and you are wondering if maybe you have been wrong about the issue. I mean – if He really meant that was wrong there sure would be a lot of condemned people! The simple fact is, sin is pleasurable. If it wasn’t – no one would do it. It is also a fact that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). If you bend the Scriptures to suit your life, as opposed to bending your will to His, it doesn’t actually make evil things good. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1.
There is more that can be said about this, but I will end by encouraging every soul to remember that life is going to pack some punches. Roll with them…and when it happens turn to the Lord and His Word. It is literally epic.