"Do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example." Mt 23:2
Learning to be an adult believer, discerning God's will and making decisions for yourself, is a radically difficult but important task for Christians. While the hierarchy of the church can guide us in matters of faith and morals, every Christian faces questions and obstacles regularly which defy easy solutions. Unfortunately, very few adult Christians have spiritual directors who can help in this process, making the effort of living the good news in an authentic and integrated way even more difficult.
Jesus is especially sharp tongued in this regard. While acknowledging the authority of the Jewish leaders, he also warns his followers not to follow their example. While this is still and always true, it is often painful. It is easier for most of us to look to authority figures and depend unhealthily on them to make decisions for us. Every Christian, after listening to those with authority and consulting soul friends and teachers, must eventually choose to follow their well formed conscience. Too often, as Jesus reminds us, the life of our leaders is not something we should emulate, and while sad, should not leave us powerless. The Spirit of God has been promised to every believer as guide, mentor and friend.
Today, practice listening to your heart.
How have you faced difficult ethical dilemmas?