By Michelle Schroeder

Follow God WINE

 

If the Lord is God, follow him” ~ 1 Kings 18:21

There are times in our lives when we have moral dilemmas, and we need to be gently nudged to a solution and handled with care. It’s often easy for us to rationalize a poor choice, but talking with someone who will help us arrive at the correct answer can be helpful. There are other times, however, when we need someone to smack us with the cold, hard facts. We need to be jolted, directly addressing the choices we make without sugarcoating.

 

Cold, Hard Facts

 

If that’s what you need right now, then you’ve come to the right reading with the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 18:20-39. “How long will you straddle the issue?” asked the prophet to the children of Israel. “If the Lord is God, follow him,” he says to them, but isn’t he also speaking directly to us?  Jesus even doubles down on Elijah’s reality check by reminding us in Matthew 5: 17-19 that he didn’t come to get rid of the commandments. Jesus says, “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.” So, if the Lord is God and we follow him, we should follow his commandments. Apply that to any situation, and you’ll have the right answer. It’s that simple!

 

So, why isn’t it that simple?

 

Our human ability to rationalize and see things through our specific lens is remarkable. We have this ability when presented with a moral question. We engage in gossip and call it venting (proper venting is limited to a trusted friend, not everyone within earshot!), or we drive past homeless people complaining about them but never donate time or treasure to helping because how could one person make an impact?  We all do it. We all water down our shortcomings, but in the end, aren’t our choices really about whether we believe God is who he says he is?

 

I wish I could tell you that I’ve mastered this challenge, and you can, too. But the reality is that we are all subject to our fallen nature, and we will fail often, and our Father understands this. Praise God for his mercy and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where we are absolved of these failings and receive grace to keep improving!

 

Prayer:

Lord, give me the grace I need to follow you and obey your law truly.

Call to Action:

My challenge to each of us is to apply Elijah’s statement to your choices for a day and include the times you failed in your next confession.

 

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