In the short term, when we are feeling the weight of our decisions, we are tempted to take “the easy way out”. We lie in order to cover up our mistakes. We blame, distract, or project rather than face the difficult complexities of our reality. It just seems easier.

This is why it is so difficult to be a Christian. It is hard to make what feels like the more difficult choice. Each day, each moment, each decision, we are hit with waves and waves of circumstances. Immediate decisions. Fires that need to be put out. Pressures that need to be addressed. And it just feels easier to avoid it, to cover it up, to delay the deep truth for another time when things are not so busy and complicated.

The irony is that in the end all this avoiding makes life more difficult. What we call “the easy way” is actually the hard way.

What is easy upfront becomes difficult down the line. What we keep putting off snowballs and festers; it grows exponentially. Our avoidance (and blame, etc.) is an action and it creates more difficult circumstances. The kind that are avoidable. What feels like the easy way in the moment is actually much harder.

Trusting in God is difficult in the moment. Patience is hard. Love is a challenge. But as time goes on, as we practice these things, what is perhaps more difficult upfront pays dividends down the road. It makes for better relationships, better outcomes, and develops within us a better character to address all we might encounter.

Trouble awaits those who harden their heart. Mercy awaits those who trust in the Lord. We cannot avoid difficulty. But we can decide if we want to face it in a smaller dose today or a bigger dose later on.

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.”
– Proverbs 28:13-14