It is really a very simple choice when you look at things from a logical point of view. I am talking about the choice between accepting God’s gift of salvation and rejecting it. Blaise Pascal, a philosopher from a couple of centuries ago, argued that whether or not God exists it is still better to believe that He does rather than ignore Him! Simply put the argument went something along these lines.

If God exists then it is obviously a better option to believe in Him and to live according to His will. This will ensure our greater happiness. If He does not exist, however, we lose nothing by living as if He did because we will at least be living good and holy lives and that will maximize our enjoyment of this life. And if we live as though He does not exist, and that is the case, we gain nothing either as there is no such thing as an eternal reward in this scenario. Thus the best option is to live as though God does exist, as this will give us a good result if He does and is neutral if He does not exist. On the other hand, to live as though He does not exist gives an eternally bad result if He does exist and a neutral or slightly better than neutral result if He does not exist. The laws of probability thus suggest that we are better off, statistically speaking to take the punt, so to speak, and assume that God does exist and live our lives accordingly. It is a neat argument though there are a few loopholes if you know where to look for them.

Paul, however, has no doubts about God’s existence and tells us straight up to make a decision and live accordingly; if by grace unto eternal life, if by sin unto eternal death! In the Gospel today Jesus tells us something similar, namely that to believe in Him will ultimately cause us to have to make a stand over and against those who do not. Christian belief will demand that we live according to a particular set of values that will be in conflict with some of those in the world necessitating a choice on our part. When this time comes, let us pray for the grace to choose to live according to the values of the Gospel. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will grant us the necessary wisdom to do this.

Have I ever experienced a time when I have had to make a choice to live by or reject my Christian values? Did I make the right choice?

Holy Spirit, lead me into the fullness of the truth and grant me the grace to always choose truth over wrong. Help me to form my conscience well and to never allow the world’s way of thinking to influence me to take up the path of sin.