Hesitation can be dangerous. If we are crossing a street and a speeding car is fast approaching, hesitation can get us killed. Hesitation can prove costly if we need to do something with an investment to put it in a safe place during unstable times. If we did nothing we could lose our nest egg. Hesitating to tell someone we love them can produce deep sorrow if that person were suddenly taken away without warning leaving us with only memories and the painful regret of never saying what needed to be said.
Scripture is filled with stories regarding the issue of hesitancy. As the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah began the text in Genesis 19 reveals that Lot hesitated to flee the coming destruction so the angels had to grab Lot and his family by the hand and lead them out of the city. I Kings 18 has the prophet Elijah asking the people how long they would hesitate between two opinions – if God is God follow Him, but if it’s Baal, follow him. In Acts 10, Peter was hesitant to eat the unclean food that descended before him on a sheet. He was told to eat because it was no longer unclean to the Lord. If Peter was not willing to eat the food and remained hesitant the mission and calling on his life would not be fulfilled. In Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20, he told the elders he did not shrink back (hesitate) from telling them the whole purpose of God.
Hesitant responses to life take place because we don’t have a course of action or a truth settled in our minds before an incident takes place that requires our action. There are other times when no amount of planning will prepare us to respond without hesitancy. In these times it will be the condition of our hearts that will save us from the perils of hesitancy.
The most important preparation any of us can do to protect ourselves against hesitancy is to make sure each moment of the day our hearts are aligned with the heart of God, willing to respond to His voice and the challenges of life with His values and His love. That preparation is the single most important thing we can do to protect against a pause that could cause our souls, and even our lives, to be harmed when safety was possible if our hearts had been right with God.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins