Lent – Day 14 – Jesus Questions

“Are you going to leave, too?” (John 6:67)

We periodically face transition points in our lives; moments when we have to decide to go or stay. That can happen in a local church or the workplace. Some people face the decision in a marriage or a family.

LeavingSome decisions are relatively clear, though rarely easy. We identify toxicity, heresy, immorality, or some other glaringly untenable element — something we just cannot live with — and just know we need to leave.

Other times, it’s not nearly so straightforward. We face convoluted factors in an environment that mixes both joy and stress. The decision to move on or move away is agonizingly difficult to assess.

And yet other times, we just know that God is specifically calling us to another season and another place, as Abraham experienced (Genesis 12). These moments, if clearly guided by the Spirit of God, don’t confuse or confound us.

Are you facing a transition decision right now? How can we best navigate moments like these? This has been on my mind the last few days.

  1. Is there physical danger or threat of harm? None of us should physically endanger ourselves or others, if we can leave the situation.
  2. Engage the insights and wisdom of others. I’m inclined to either understate or sensationalize my own circumstances. A “community” can help me weigh the issues more accurately and objectively. Who do you turn to as your confidante and counselor?
  3. Distinguish between preferences and principles. Sometimes I want to leave a place because it’s less than perfect and falls short of my preferences. Are there important principles (or core values) that I’m being forced to compromise? Sometimes my irritation or frustration makes my preferences feel like principles, when they are not.
  4. Pray. Give serious attention to God in this process. He usually gets too little time in these decisions. Of course, He may remain silent, and we might reasonably assume (after we have practiced steps 1-3) that His silence equates to permission. But look for Him to speak in Scripture, in circumstances, in the community, and in Person. He shows up more than we imagine.
  5. Wait, don’t rush. Impulsivity generally does not achieve the purposes of God.

“Are you going to leave, too?” (John 6:67)

Today I spent time with a friend assessing this very question in his own life. We concluded “yes” and then grappled together with the next set of questions — When, and how?

This Jesus Question, first posed to the twelve disciples when other disciples were abandoning Jesus, remains important in so many ways. If you’re struggling in a church, a workplace, a marriage, or a family, I encourage you to pause, ponder, and pray with a partner.

This entry was posted in 40 Days, Jesus Questions, Lent, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lent – Day 14 – Jesus Questions

  1. Kenneth Wadum says:

    Thanks again David. These reflection questions regarding leaving or staying are excellent (as usual) and I intend to share them with others in teaching and counseling (with proper reference credit of course). So many of my clients and students in ministry and other situations have struggled with this question, and I suspect many others will continue to as well.

  2. Jan Neff says:

    I’ve found God will begin to remove me emotionally from a position or situation before I move on physically. Almost like a detachment happens emotionally. Not to be in a rush tho, to make sure it isn’t just because I’m tired or something similar. And seeking counsel from someone(s) I trust is high on my list, cuz I need people to see things objectively. And ugh, can be so challenging when you’ve made that decision to move on/over/up/out, whatever. Putting motion to the decision.

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