Learning to Make Better Decisions
Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. Luke 22:42
Your life is a mess because you’re in charge of it. I found this written on one of those sarcastic quote-of-the-day calendars that someone laid on my desk at work recently. It was amusing, but I can remember a time when it wasn’t quite as funny because it was painfully true.
Following my own appetite, I once made one progressively worse decision after another, leading to the disaster of my addiction. In my mess, I realized I had no one to blame but me. I am the problem. If I wanted out, I needed to begin making better choices and radically change my behavior. My will had made a catastrophe of my life and I desperately needed something or someone different to follow.
Though Jesus didn’t make a disaster of his life by following his own will, he did struggle with his will. In today’s passage, he spent a night praying in anguish over his coming crucifixion. Jesus knew how horrible it was going to be and frankly, he wanted out. I appreciate the honesty of the passage in recording how Christ himself, had to wrestle his own will to the ground, surrendering it to the father. Not my will, but yours.
This is a discipline I must learn to apply to all of my decision making. In my addiction, I needed to surrender my desire to avoid getting help. Once I did get help, the temptation was to try to maintain control of every other aspect of my life. This is still a problem. I want to follow God’s will with my drug addiction, while I follow me in every other area of life.
The problem is that every decision we make spills over into other areas of our lives. If we continually indulge in some little vice, we diminish our self-control in bigger areas. If our lives are a mess and we want to turn things around, we must learn to practice Jesus’ discipline to all areas of decision making. Not my will, but yours.
This applies to what we might consider little sins of lust, gluttony, greed, or anger, and it applies to those big temptations as well. if we want to know the joy and peace of faith and recovery, then we must learn to continually say, Not my will, but yours.