It’s certainly not a new way to begin a thought or statement, but lately I’ve been reflecting on the phrase, “After prayerful consideration…” I’ve heard it a lot of times and have always given credit to those who pray about whatever it is they are considering. However, I want to share a few reactions to those words.
First of all, they always seem to preface a negative response. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone say, “After prayerful consideration, I will do that job” or “I will teach that class” or “I will bake some cookies.” Instead, when you hear that phrase, you know the person is going to say, “No, I’m not going to do that.” Interesting. How come prayers don’t lead someone to accept a position or take on a task?
Second, did you talk to anyone else about this other than God? Did you talk it through with the person who asked you to do something? Did you bounce it off a trusted friend who knows your strengths and weaknesses? Did you talk to anyone else who’s ever done this? I believe God surrounds us with a church full of Spirit-led people to advise, encourage, and guide us. Did you talk to any of them?
Third, are you transferring the responsibility from yourself to God? In other words, if it’s his call, you’re pretty much off the hook, aren’t you? Who can debate your decision if you play the God card? I know it sounds harsh, but it is very easy to get out of doing something “after prayerful consideration.”
Fourth, “after prayerful consideration,” I asked you to do something. That’s right, God and I had a conversation before I asked you to take on a task, a job, or to bake some cookies. What do you think about that?
Finally, and I have said this many, many times, just give me a “yes” or a “no.” You don’t have to construct a theological framework to support your answer. It’s a lot easier that way, I can take it, and I won’t think any less of you for it.
I’m just thinking out loud here. You may not agree. That’s OK. Leave me a comment in WordPress. Help me work through it.