Why do We Hesitate?

When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. – Matthew 28:17

Hesitation provides time to think about a situation, gather information and weigh the facts. Maybe the choice really matters to you. Maybe  hesitation is a warning that you’re about to make the wrong decision. This is not the same as hesitating until an opportunity is lost or we lose sight of a God given vision.

Why do we hesitate? The answer requires serious examination of our hearts:

Do we prefer privacy over loving accountability? God has called us into relationships that pull us out of doubt and hesitation: spiritual conversation, mutual prayer and healthy accountability. “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment”(Proverbs 18:1).

Can we discern between faith and fear? Sometimes fear protects us from dangerous things. Other times fear eaves us making no decision at all.  God gives us wisdom to decide between the necessary risks of faith and the appropriate cautions of wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).

Do we prefer comfort over commitments? We grow comfortable with our routines. Many believers have had to push themselves to return to church services because they’d grown comfortable with their no-commute, no-prep Sunday mornings at home. Or they could just do whatever they wanted on the weekend and watch a recorded service later.

There are many reasons why we hesitate, so let’s diagnose our hearts. Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” We’re all masters at mental maneuvering, and our hesitations often flow from unexamined thoughts and feelings. 

About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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1 Response to Why do We Hesitate?

  1. Sharon says:

    The church has seen a difference since the pandemic saw churches doing alternatives to in church worship and it is easy to sit at home and watch. God wants his people in fellowship with other Christians. He wants us involved in the worship. Nothing like being able to hug your pew buddy!

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