Path of No Regrets Includes Plan B

I have found that God’s way is the most painless way to live life although it often requires some short-term sacrifices. Jesus is quoted as telling His followers to take His yoke upon them and that His yoke is light. A yoke is a type of harness that connects two animals together. It is a burden. The burden of Christ is the lifestyle He commands them to follow. When He says His burden is light, this is in contrast to the alternative. I can either live the way God would have me live, or I can do my own thing. In the short term, doing things my way often looks to be easier and more fun but in the long term, I always regret it when I do things my way instead of God’s way.

Some people obey God because they believe it to be a way of earning their way to heaven. The Bible teaches that salvation (our ticket to heaven) is a free gift which cannot be earned. However it also teaches that those who love the Lord will obey Him. There is some sort of connection between the two. When I accept the gift of salvation, I am going to love God as a result and want to obey Him. My obedience then is a result of my salvation and not the other way around. Putting the salvation issue aside, even if eternal life wasn’t the reward, obeying God would still make sense because His burden is light.
 
Disobedience enslaves us. Consider some common “sins” and how they enslave. Greed can make a man so hated he has no friends. Ebeneezer Scrooge is a classic example of that. Gluttony can get so bad that it ruins one’s health. The gossip spreads stories to give himself a sense of superiority which forms such a habit that no one dare ever confide in them. Jealousy becomes insane to the point where trust becomes non-existent and it destroys the relationship it was so afraid of losing. Lies start out small and grow bigger to cover up for those previously told. Lust is never satisfied and always seeks something more sensual than before. Violence breeds more violence as it gives birth to revenge. Pride is perhaps the greatest task-master. Pride drives a person to commit a host of sins and refuses to allow self-examination or confession of wrong.

God’s way is of love, freedom and tolerance. The apostle James defined true religion as helping the poor, widows and orphans. Jesus told his disciples that others would know them by their love for one another. God’s way calls for us to treat each other kindly. To love our enemies and be good to those who persecute us. God calls us to be honest with each other. God’s way is to be loyal. These are all positive character traits that are upheld by many world religions. Christianity can be distinguished from other religions by the fact that these good works are not done to gain salvation or to please God. Christian obedience is a response to what God has already done for them. That said, polls show that only about 25% of Christians grasp that.

Living for God is what I call the path of no regrets. What if, when my life comes to an end I somehow learn that God doesn’t exist and that this life is all there is? I would not regret living a good life. I would not regret being honest and kind. I would not regret helping the poor and ministering to the sick. Let there be no doubt. The historical evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is substantial enough to convince me that the Bible is valid and Jesus is real. My point is that while I do live for Christ with the hope of eternal life as He promised, the life He has commanded me to live is a path of no regrets.

Choosing to follow God does not mean everything will always go well.  Plan A doesn’t work out for most people – even Christians.  Many good Christian believers experience tragedy in life.  Some may lose their job or go bankrupt.  Some become ill and struggle with their health.  Some may experience an ugly divorce.  Others have to deal with rebellious children, drug addiction and incarceration.  The unexpected death of a loved one is also something that happens even to faithful followers of Christ.  Looking for God’s will even in the midst of tragedy still provides the path of no regrets.

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