a better way
Meet my two friends, Jake and Henry. They made two different choices and are living with wildly different outcomes.
Jake is an awesome, fun to be around young man. He’s fit, loves outdoor sports, and has a huge friend group. He’s begun a promising career, works lots of hours and is one of the kindest men I know.
Henry is also a young man with a huge friend group and lots of fun to be with. Henry is a college student, a musician, and he’s investing time in a youth ministry inside and outside of church. He came to faith in high school.
Jake isn’t settled in his beliefs. He’s still trying to understand what role, if any, God might play in his life. He’s up for doing good to others, but isn’t sure about God and if He should have any impact in his decisions.
Henry, though, is sure about God and he has begun to make choices based on his faith. Recently, he faced a decision most young people must make.
It was the same choice Jake made. For many, it’s not much of a choice. Our world doesn’t expect young people to stay pure until marriage. Based on what Henry knew to be true and his conviction in a moment when he was all-alone, his choice was different.
Jake dated Emma for more than a year. They were serious, although both would have admitted they weren’t certain the other was “the one” for them. They were romantically involved, and shortly after they broke up, Jake learned Emma was pregnant.
Because the breakup was Jake’s idea, Emma hasn’t wanted to consider any further relationship. Throughout her pregnancy, their relationship has deteriorated. Emma wants Jake to be financially responsible, but Jake isn’t certain he’s the father.
Emotions, stress and anxiety have run wild for both of them. Lawyers have been employed, lots of money has been spent and civility is gone.
A girl friend of Henry’s invited him to come visit her in Germany. Henry has known Kathrin since she was an exchange student at his high school. They had stayed in touch, and have become good friends.
After considering the trip, thinking he should go, Henry found a great fare, and booked the flight. Weeks later, he found himself in Germany, visiting Kathrin and her family.
The experience, sights, and travels were all a little surreal. Henry was guarded with Kathrin, because he desired to be a good friend, but didn’t want to send signals indicating he was interested in being romantically involved.
Upon visiting Kathrin’s aunt in another city, they were suddenly all alone in her aunt’s home. Henry had the distinct sense that something physical could or might happen between them. He had recently read Romans 12, and felt convicted to respond different than the world expects.
So, Henry explained his concerns to Kathrin about abandoning what he knew God would want him to do, just because he was alone with her, half the world away from home. He told her he trusted God’s ways to be better than what the world offers.
Kathrin wasn’t offended. She was honored Henry would care enough to be honest, and straightforward. Their entire trip changed in that moment. She began to ask him to explain his faith to her. Deeper, more honest conversations took place. Henry shared his faith, and Kathrin decided she wanted to trust Christ with her life, too.
Since Henry returned home, Kathrin has shared her newfound faith with many of her friends. She texts Henry, and he encourages her. Henry told me how overwhelmed he is with how much greater this trip became out of his obedience in a moment.
I get the feelings Henry and Jake faced. The temptation is powerful. The devil’s offering looks good up front. Really good. But, Henry chose to trust God’s way.
As a result, Kathrin’s eternity looks different. And she is excitedly sharing her faith with friends. The ripple effect of Henry’s obedience in this one instance is incredible.
God’s way offers more life than the most alluring offer the devil proposes to us. These names are changed, but the stories are real. Both of my friends are walking through what I have shared with you.
This is true for us, too. When faced with what everyone else is doing, if we know or sense His way is different for us, we can trust our Father.
His plans are not to limit us, or hurt us or keep us from fun. His plans are for good, our good and the good of those we love. His way is better.