In one of his daily prayer posts, Dutch Sheets recently quoted Ronald Reagan, and the statement has stuck with me ever since:
They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is right.Ronald Reagan
There’s a difference between easy and simple. According to dictionary.com:
Easy: not hard or difficult; requiring no great labor or effort; free from pain, discomfort, worry, or care
Simple: easy to understand, deal with, use; not elaborate or artificial
Simple does not equal easy.
When it comes to sticking to our convictions, our battle plan is often very simple. We know what we need to do. But do we do it? That’s the hard part. It’s simple, but it’s not always easy.
Several years ago I had very few local friends. Each week, a group of them would play Bingo together at a bar and grill in town. I didn’t feel right about going because even though the establishment was technically a restaurant too, most of the crowd at that time of night was there for the booze. I didn’t really have any other opportunities to hang out with people my age, though, so I made up my mind: If my friends would invite me, I would go. I wouldn’t drink any alcohol – I would order myself a Diet Coke – but I’d go.
They never invited me. Not once. All I was waiting for was one invitation, but weeks and then months went by without one. My friends talked about Bingo night very often but never once asked me to join them.
God totally protected me. (I was fleecing and didn’t even know it! Ha.)
Years down the road now, much older and hopefully wiser, I am so thankful he did. See, the choice to avoid an environment I sensed could be dangerous was simple. But it wasn’t easy.
I just wanted acceptance. I wanted community. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to have something to look forward to each week.
But I was willing to compromise my standards – even just a little bit – to get these things, and I knew better.
The plan to abstain was simple. But not easy.
This is true in so many areas of life:
Simple? Yes. Easy? Not necessarily.
Decide what your convictions are. Make a game plan. Discipline yourself to follow it. And see victory.
It’s not easy. But it is simple.
Will you do what’s easy, or will you do what’s best?