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  • Writer's pictureDavid Peppler, Sr.

Certainty

Our culture insists on it. Our dreams ask for it. Our decisions require it. Our minds demand it. The art of being certain about any given thought or task is what drives our progress, steers our thinking, and supplies us with confidence.


Photo Credit: Caleb Jones

Being certain about anything is what we strive for because anything less seems unacceptable. In the corporate world, it is nearly impossible to make bigger, visionary choices with every tidbit of information available. As much as can be gathered is brought to the table to minimize the risk of the conclusion.


Churches function using the same mindset frequently. This can be a problem. When bands of God’s people are facing crossroads, it is human nature to desire as much information as possible before selecting which path to follow. There is greater risk involved where less factual information is present. I agree with this philosophy but only to a point.


God’s people are also supposed to be people of faith. I am not suggesting blind faith is the way to go for churches facing decisions, but I am saying that if certainty is a requirement among the gathering of believers that something else is missing which we are compelled to include. Faith, as Scripture tells us, is being certain of things we cannot be absolutely certain about. We believe in things we cannot prove but can merely provide evidence for that is never fully conclusive. Some refer to this as the “cloud of unknowing.” In this cloud, faith informs our decision as we must remove certainty from our minds as a requirement.


I have worked with congregations who face choices. Getting them to face decisions that include both their corporate mindsets and faith brings many challenges. It frequently looks like a battle between the head and the heart.


My argument is that it was never meant to be a battle, rather, a balance. Faith alone drives many things. Certainty alone drives the rest. For God’s people, I recommend a combination that includes both. Faith is equivalent to trust. So is certainty. One puts its trust in Divine leadership and the other puts its trust in what we know to be true without it.


Coaching Questions:

• What decisions do you place solely in the care of certainty?

• When has faith informed your direction?

• What would balance between certainty and faith look like in your life? Your church? Your job?

• When incorrect decisions are made, how do you evaluate what was missing?

• How can faith make a difference in a choice you need to make today?

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