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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

What Is Best for the Long Haul?

Head and shoulders of Jesus facing to the left

To fulfill God’s purpose for our lives, we must make decisions based on what is best for the long haul. Repeatedly asking that question empowers wise decisions.

We must also consider how a particular choice would positively or negatively affect other people, places, and things. Why? Because we’re interdependent creatures. Our lives continuously intersect with and affect others for better or worse.

For example, over our lifetime, deciding to spend daily time in the Bible and prayer equips us for the good works God has planned for us (Ephesians 2:10). Occasional devotions would certainly be more convenient than daily devotions and require less discipline. The question, however, shouldn’t be what’s convenient now but what is best for the long haul.

We could do many other things instead of communing with God. But we won’t even remember them ten years from now when God uses us to share our hope in Christ with a despairing person who, unknown to us, is contemplating suicide. Or twenty years hence when we share what Jesus means to us or lead a Bible study that stirs someone to decide to follow Jesus.

Our time with God today prepares us for countless unforeseen opportunities to make an eternal difference in others’ lives tomorrow. Do what is best for the long haul.

I feel the need to exercise but rarely want to. It’s easier to skip it. Sometimes I do. But unlike those who lie down until the feeling passes, I usually do them. I know they promote good health. They equip me to serve others longer and better than if I didn’t exercise.

When I began my pastoral ministry, I wrote my sermons in longhand. At age 37, I decided to learn to type. That was before I began making decisions based on what was best for the long haul, but that decision surely was.

My initial motivation for learning to type was to justify buying a computer. What I didn’t anticipate was that typing skills, a computer, and the not-yet-invented internet would be invaluable for communicating spiritual truths simply through the written word.

Our decisions affect us and others. Israel insisted on having a king. God warned of the long-term consequences (1 Samuel 8). The king would draft young men into his army. He’d take the best of the harvest from their fields. He’d use their property and take a tenth of their flocks and crops. Israel wanted one anyway and suffered the consequences of that choice for hundreds of years.

The human body illustrates Christian interdependence.  “If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you. “In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are the most necessary” (1 Corinthians 12:17–22 NLT).

So, we Christians must continually ask ourselves, “What is best for the long haul for the growth and health of the body of Christ?” What we decide, what we do, and how we do it affect us and countless others for better or worse. If we consistently organize our lives around what is best for the long haul, we will make much better decisions than if we don’t. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources 

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at

God has equipped and empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead more than 2,400 people to faith in Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 2,994 people. I invite you to check it out. 


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