The Tougher Road

2 Timothy 3:10-11

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings – what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.”

It would appear humanity is often plagued by the decision of polarizing choices. Frequently we are placed in positions mental and spiritual division – confronted by two life altering choices. It’s not solely spiritual. Some are faced with choices of integrity in the workplace – do we lie and get promoted or bear truth and remain?

Some are faced with relational choices – do we struggle through difficulty to remain married despite the current bleak outlook knowing that the end result is a stronger cord or do we cave to the pressures and prideful arrogance that divides unity?

Other choices stunt our spiritual growth. How we use our bodies, how we tame our tongues, and how we hold captive our thoughts are all choices that bear the weight of potential strife and division if left unchecked. In a picture perfect world we would prefer to not make these choices. We would choose that the choices be made for us – and that every choice would lead to a favorable outcome.

The analogy of two roads is apparent. We are at the fork and can seemingly see for miles in every direction although we aren’t certain of the destination at the end of either path. We simply know that from perspective, one road seems inevitably tougher than the other.

The tougher road isn’t enticing, it’s frightening. It isn’t attractive, it’s repelling. It isn’t accepting, it’s confrontational. It’s everything our born nature revolts against, but it’s the very thing our blessed soul acknowledges as right. We would desire to avoid all difficulties and still benefit from increased character and resolve, but this is not the reality of human nature. We are made stronger through trials and assured through conquering fears.

One has to admire Paul for his endurance and firm conviction. He operated without fear because he knew that the tougher road was not tough at all. It was an illusion the whole time – because he knew no matter the circumstance he would be rescued by Jesus – and it was so until his time had come.

If the tough road was illusional, is it possible the easy road is also illusional? If the tough road truly isn’t tough, is it possible that the easy road truly isn’t easy? It would appear that way…

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