Wed., Dec. 7, 2016
Matthew 1:24: When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
Joseph’s world had been turned upside down. We don’t know how well he knew Mary before his and Mary’s parent’s arranged their engagement. My guess is Mary was carefully selected because of her family’s stellar reputation.
Suddenly, the stellar reputation is gone. When Joseph discovered she was pregnant, imagine his emotional roller coaster. Shock, disbelief, anger, disappointment. The obvious next best decision seemed to quietly divorce her. Yep, in those days breaking an engagement was just like getting divorced.
Recently, my friend shared with me how her uncle often used this expression: what is the next best decision? Rather than dwelling on things that have happened in the past and cannot be changed, his focus became looking at the situation at hand and making the next best decision.
Divorce probably seemed like the next best decision. That is, until the dream. Then, the next best decision became staying with Mary and calling the baby his own. Yes, there would be great shame in accepting responsibility for this baby who was conceived out of wedlock. But it was clear this was the next best decision.
I like this attitude and perspective. My friend shared this with me to encourage me to ponder the next best decision about something happening in my family right now. Her message to me is clear, just as clear as the angel’s message to Joseph was. Make the best decision you can make today. How helpful her suggestion has been!
Here’s a little secret: you have permission to borrow this saying and live it in your life. I pray Joseph’s decision to embody this saying in his life will encourage us not to do the easy thing, but to do the right thing.
Lord God – we often want clear indications of what the next step should be. I pray, like Joseph, that we see clearly what our next best decision should be. May these decisions always be inspired by you. Amen.
Today’s item for Jesus’ birthday box: mustard
Sunday’s item for Jesus’ birthday box: can of kidney beans
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