Sunday, November 30, 2008

The gospel is everywhere, part 1000

One of my all-time favorite books is Michael Lewis' Moneyball (pictured above). While nominally about baseball, in reading the book you'll realize it's actually about being efficient in life.

One of the themes that stuck with me is that of a decision being evaluated not on the result, but on the process involved in making the decision. So, if you trade for a bad player who coincidentally sets the world on fire upon his acquisition, that does not mean the trade decision was a good one. To use a real world example: my friend Wesley once survived a car accident only because she wasn't wearing a seat belt. Just because she survived, however, does not validate the decision to drive without wearing the seat belt*.

I always thought this "the value of the decision is not in its result" philosophy extended to the gospel as well. Like, if I talk about the Lord with a stranger but it does not result in the stranger coming to the Lord, I shouldn't feel like I made a bad decision**.

Reading Luke 4, I found my scriptural reference. Here, Jesus is tempted by Satan, who offers Jesus authority and splendor over all the kingdoms in the world. One problem: while the result would make a certain amount of sense, the process by which He got there would be, well, a bit troubling.

I think Christians can be similarly tempted by the allure of a seemingly positive result. What I think we need to remember, though, is that the result we ought to always be seeking is not one of worldly pleasure, or even one which looks good to other Christians. The result we should simply, unequivocally be seeking is the approval of the Lord. After all, it is He, not men, who ultimately judges us.

* = I know this sentence is a double negative. If you have a better idea of how to phrase it, please do let me know

** = same thing

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