Now the birth of Jesus Christ occurred in this way. His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So, Joseph her husband, being righteous and not wanting to disgrace her, intended to divorce her secretly. But as he was considering these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. And she will give birth to a son, and you will call his name ‘Jesus,’ because he will save his people from their sins.”
~ Matthew 1:18-21, LEB ~
Moral agency is a beautiful and precious thing. We make choices every day. And when we make choices that are honoring and pleasing to our Heavenly Father, we find inherent blessing. Choices made that cause us to walk in the footsteps of the Savior, we enjoy the abundant life promised. However, when we make choices that are displeasing, those decisions plan seeds for a potential bitter harvest.
Joseph had a difficult decision before him. His betrothed is pregnant, and he wanted to follow the Law. A conundrum because it meant for public shaming her. His decision was to divorce her secretly as a means to save her from being disgraced. It is during this struggle of what to do – an angel appeared before him and revealed to him the blessing of a child will fulfill all promised prophecies. He would be responsible to help Mary raise Jesus Christ – Savior of humanity.
Like Joseph – our desire is to do the right thing. And sometimes that right thing requires some risk on our part. Living a mindful and crucified life is not about making the right decisions – it is about considering those things we desire and want to do and how our actions have significant implications on the lives of those around us. This is the conundrum of Joseph. Should he divorce her the way Jewish Law required? Which will place her in public shame? After all, he still loved her and was concerned for her own well-being. Would it have been better to do so quietly so as to save her from such public shame? Is it really something he truly wanted to do?
What things are you presently considering? What is weighing on your heart and mind? For me, one recent situation caused me to pause and seek out wise counsel. Engaging in thoughtful prayer, discussing with others the situation and potential decisions needed to be made. When I had decided to act contrary to my compulsion and refrain from stepping in to rescue – I felt at peace with myself. Instead, all that needed is to be present, pray thoughtfully, and do all that I am capable of doing to offer support.
The beauty of living a mindful and crucified Christian life is the reality of how our Heavenly Father will provide the necessary, and timely, guidance we need. It is this healthy spiritual base from which we are able to live a life with meaning and purpose. And it is a life fully engaged and committed to following the will of God. Faithful obedience gives us the necessary spiritual fitness that will assist each one of us in coping with the inevitable challenges we face in life.
With peace of mind and resilient spiritual fortitude, we live from a solid foundation that will not collapse, even during times of crisis. Unexpected situations and events will come and present difficulties and painful circumstances. Does one act with impulse and compulsion? Or do we act with intent and purpose while maintaining our faith in Christ and finding peace in navigating those moments of difficulty and crisis?
Today’s Thought and Reminder
Today, make a commitment to seek out our Heavenly Father’s will and guidance as you consider the challenges before you. For it will lead to making purposeful and wise choices. Bring peace in your heart and mind as you consider how your actions may impact others around you. Be thoughtful and remember that all impulsive and compulsive choice is one that is displeasing and done in haste and error.
Our personal choice determines whether or not we are masters or victims of our own thoughts and attitudes. Who we are is the sum of all choices we have made. Who we may become is what we choose to do today. And living a meaningful mindful and crucified life is a choice made for our desire to change. To come unto Christ and follow Him is a choice we are willing to commit toward losing our life so that we may gain the life He has promised.
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2 thoughts on ““…As He Considered These Things…””
Thanks for this post. Joseph’s experience provides a great paradigm for own decision making. Life is so much more than just letting life happen, and it is also more than just success based on human logic.
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It is – specifically when we are considering significant decisions that are life changing ones. Thank you for your comment.