Even When You Don’t Know the Steps, You Still Know the Way

Jesus talked about a lot of things, and thank goodness He did. He directly taught us about money, conflict, friendship, service, sacrifice, and a host of other things, all pointing us to our need of Him. Because He talked directly about these things, we can still – 2000 years later – take Him at His Word. That’s because the nature of the things Jesus talked about don’t change.

Yes, we may have cryptocurrency today instead of denarii, but money is still money. And the implications of money are still the implications. Based on the direct words of Jesus, we can know with a pretty good degree of certainty the steps we should take in how we treat money.

At the same time, though, there were lots of things Jesus didn’t talk about. We can’t turn to one of the gospels and find Jesus telling us about artificial intelligence, for example. We don’t find Him speaking directly as to how to vote in a democratic election. Neither do we find Him giving direct instruction about what kind of schools we should choose for our children.

Of course He didn’t. Because even though the words of Jesus are once and for all time, they were recorded for us in a specific day and time. It was a day and time in which things like streaming services and education choices and even career change were not really thought of. So of course Jesus doesn’t address these things.

But do you ever wish He did? You are going to face issues of complexity every single day. These will be relational, financial, organizational issues in which you are going to have to make decisions that will not only affect you but others. And for the vast majority of those issues, you don’t have the steps laid out for you in the Bible.

But even when you don’t know the steps, you still know the way.

Let’s take a practical example to flesh that out.

Let’s say that you are leading an organization, and you have to make some kind of pretty dramatic change. That change is going to involve creating new roles and laying off some people. New financial reports will have to be formed. Vision will have to be articulated. New processes instituted. It’s all very complicated and frankly, you aren’t sure you’re doing the right thing at all.

Because of the complexity, you certainly know if the steps are right. You’re just doing the best you can, putting one foot in front of the other, hoping you don’t mess things up too badly.

You don’t know the steps… but you do know the way.

Jesus didn’t tell you the specific steps to take, but He did both tell and show you the manner in which those steps should be taken. Here’s the way, if not the steps:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:25-28).

The “way” is the posture you should take as you take these steps; it’s the attitude and manner of what you do. In the scenario above, the steps involve all kinds of things, but the manner in which you take those steps is much simpler. It’s the way of lowering. The way of service. The way of not lording authority.

And so it is with most of the complex issues of our day, and of our lives. We rarely know the next – or even right – steps to take. But we almost always know the way.

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