Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Jen’s Gem: Decisions are easier with God.

Years ago, (ok, decades), there was a song by The Clash called “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” The lyrics speak to indecision about a relationship and its impact because of someone’s inability to be clear about what they want.

“This indecision’s killing me” is one of the lines of the song and it makes me think about how paralyzed we can get when we face a big decision. We don’t want to make the wrong choice but yet sometimes we can overthink the situation and fall into “analysis paralysis.”

We’ve all been in meetings where the attendees go round and round on something, deferring to this one or that one to make the final call. It’s beyond frustrating. Like me, you may have secretly screamed in your head “Will someone make a decision? Any decision!”

Think about the choices you have when approaching a yellow light. You can choose to slow down and be prepared for the red light or you can gun it and hope you make it through before the light changes.

If you choose to slow down and wait, the person behind you will be unhappy because they wanted you to gun it. If you gun it and the light turns red, the person who you likely cut off is going to honk their horn at you…loudly! Either way, someone is going to be unhappy with your decision.
Yellow lights are a lose-lose situation.
After reading through the Bible several times, I have noticed that there are several “should I stay or should I go” references. From the early days in the Garden through the last page in Revelation, God is always putting choices in front of us, allowing us to make the final decision on whether we want to “stay or go.”
God gives us these choices because He is a gentleman and will never force His will upon us. Otherwise, we’d just be a bunch of robots following orders. God’s not looking for robots. He’s looking for relationships. (Tweet this!) He wants us to want to be with Him, not be forced into it.
Let’s look at an example of one of the choices God presents to us:
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live…” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Do you see how God clearly lays out two choices for us? He’s basically saying, “Hey, I’ve given you the choice of life or death, blessings or curses” – which one do you want? You may be saying, “Well, duh, Jen, of course I’d choose life and blessings. That’s easy.” 

The pastor of my church jokes sometimes and says that God gives us the answers to the test many times in His Word. And why wouldn’t He? His desire is for all of us to pass! He makes the way very clear. It’s up to us if we want to follow His advice.

I’ve heard it said many times that life doesn’t have a manual. There’s no book of instructions on how to live well on this planet. However, I don’t believe this is true. Life does have a manual and there is a great book with detailed instructions. However, we have to choose to read it.

My ex-husband never wanted to read the instructions when we put our children’s toys together. He simply looked at the pictures. Inevitably, there was always a leftover piece that had no home. “I guess they gave us an extra one,” he’d say.

Had he followed the instructions, he could’ve saved himself time and me the worry that the toy was going to implode at a critical moment because rod A2 or pole R8 was in the leftover pile.

I’m not going to claim that if you read the Bible that your life is going to be a cake-walk. Jesus specifically tells us in John 16:33 that we will have some challenges. Yet He also tells us how we can have peace through these trials:

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

The verse in Deuteronomy above gives us a choice – life or death, blessings or curses. In John, we are presented with a choice to be “of this world in tribulation” or to “be in Jesus and have peace.”

Looks like God gave us the answer to the test again. Will you stay or will you go? The choice is yours.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2023