“And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.”
It is almost amusing to read about the Pharisees and Sadducees and their actions had it not been for the Apostle Paul being on the bad end of their evil actions. The verse above is the result of Paul’s stubborn decision not to listen to people who told him he had no business going to Jerusalem to worship at the feast. However, as he worshipped, his enemies saw him came and charged him as a petulant fellow who stood against their religion.
What I want you to notice in the verse above is how unprincipled the Pharisees were in their beliefs and decisions. As Paul stood to give his defense to the crowd, he perceived that part of the crowd were Pharisees, and the other part were Sadducees. He then proclaimed in verse 6, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” The Pharisees believed in a resurrection, but the Sadducees didn’t, and this caused the Pharisees to defend him instead of being angry towards him and wanting him to die. These unprincipled Pharisees defended him to the extent that they said, “We find no evil in this man…”
As wishy-washy as the Pharisees were in their unprincipled stances towards Paul, I find many believers to be just as undecided and wavering in their decisions. You cannot find stability in life by making decisions by the seat-of-your-pants. At some point, you must determine what you believe and stand by it. Too many people make unprincipled decisions because they don’t know what they believe. If a “spirit or an angel hath spoken,” they tend to change their position on the matter because of how it feels. If you don’t want to become as unprincipled in your decisions in life, you need to determine what you believe and stand by it so that you don’t create instability in your life.
Moreover, unprincipled decision-making always leads to decisions based on what the crowd is doing. Many people got caught up against Paul because of the emotions of the crowd without understanding why he was even being tried. If you let the crowd dictate your decisions and what you believe, you will find yourself changing as the crowd runs to the next new kid on the block. A person who makes principled decisions doesn’t look to the populace to decide what to do, but they look to the Word of God to determine their positions and next movements. You can’t follow the crowd and what is popular in your decision-making and always find yourself in agreement with God’s Word. Eventually, the crowd will not desire what God’s Word says, and instead they will follow what is most convenient at the moment.
My friend, the best answer for your life is to become a principled decision-maker. Let God’s Word become the foundation for all of your decisions. Always remember that truth never changes, so there is nothing new you need to follow. Additionally, to look to the past to determine what you should do with the decision at the moment. Principled decisions won’t always be popular with the “in-crowd,” but it will put you in agreement with God and His Word. Let me encourage you to stop allowing your feelings and the crowd to move your decisions; instead, let God’s Word dictate the principles that determine your decision-making.