February 23, 2020

The Path of Least Resistance

We have all heard and used the phrase, “the path of least resistance.”  It describes a mindset in which we do what is easiest under the circumstance.  It is an easy path to like—a crowd pleaser.  Why do more?  Why add to your burden or why do more than the minimum?  What we will discover is this:  as we keep lowering the standard, the path of least resistance often becomes the norm and the minimum becomes the maximum. 

   On the spiritual front we struggle with those same issues.  How many times have I heard someone ask, “Where in the Bible does it say that we have to…” and you can fill in the blank… go to church on Sunday or Wednesday night, read my Bible or pray daily or give beyond what is convenient?    It is just another way of asking what is the least required in order to appease God.  What a lousy measuring stick for life.  Imagine if we approached the rest of life with that mentality, “what is the least I can do to appease my wife, to be considered an ‘adequate’ father or a passable professional?”   I know this, I don’t want my mechanic,  accountant, lawyer or surgeon to have that mentality… as they cut corners just because it is an easier path.

   Going a step further, I actually want someone who wants to be the best at what they do and who is driven to be a consummate professional.  As for me, I don’t want the easiest path as either a husband or father.  I want to be and do the best I can in each of those roles.  That is the way it is with God.  Why not our best for Him?  Why not My Utmost for His Highest, to borrow a phrase from Oswald Chambers?  You see, the path of least resistance is not an acceptable standard when it comes to God.  He wants, He demands our best.  It has been like that from the very beginning.  Cain chose the path of least resistance whereas Abel was more conscientious in his offering.  And it has been like that every day since!

   Every day we choose between our best for God and giving Him the left-overs.  Every day we consciously decide between a  concerted effort to bring Him glory and just doing the “eye-pleasing,” conscious-soothing, mindless routine and insisting that this is what God has in mind.  Perhaps there is as place for the path of least resistance—I’m thinking that church isn’t it. Brothers (and sisters) why not our best?

Paul Dawson