What is Deliberate?

Five-Minute Friday Deliberate Belief or Deliberate Unbelief?

Something is deliberate if it is done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects. In other words, it is intentional. First degree murder is intentional murder. It is something done or thought that arises from careful consideration. It is voluntary. When I joined the US Navy, it was a deliberate thing. When I married Cindie, that was an intentional choice and promise. When I buy an investment, it is a deliberate choice based on what I think is sound information and data. Even belief is an act of deliberate choices.

A Choice to Not Believe

Belief is a deliberate response. Unbelief is also an intended, knowing, thought-out, premeditated, intentional, purposeful response. Sadly, far too much of the unbelief stand is based on not really thinking. It is denying the evidence. It is choosing to find theories that support unbelief. That is a strategy that does not have a good end. If you will be deliberate in unbelief, be deliberate in understanding the results of that considered, calculated, reasoned choice. Your consideration will be based on calculations and reasoning that is not right or wise.

The Danger of the Wrong-Headed Deliberation

This is what Peter says in 2 Peter 3:1-13: “This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

How to Identify a Follower of Jesus

Believers have doubts. That is the nature of belief. But they ask God to help them with the unbelief that inevitably crops up from time-to-time. When that happens, it is time to reexamine the evidence. Here is one example:

“And Jesus said to him, ‘’If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” Mark 9:23-27

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up.

All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.