Full of Should

So now, come back to your God!
Act on the principles of love and justice,
and always live in confident dependence on your God.
Hosea 12:6 NLT

Decisions are tricky. I’m pretty sure I always have at least one decision at any given moment that I’m evaluating and re-evaluating. Where should we live? What school should our kids be attending? What should I be when I grow up? (Still asking that one…) Should I wash these pants or can I get away with wearing them one more time first?

As I thought about all this, it suddenly occurred to me that my decision-making process has a virus. I didn’t even notice until it came time to write the words for this post, but maybe you did. How many times did I use the word “should” in the first paragraph? It’s in EVERY QUESTION!! One wise woman in my life once told me “I won’t should on you if you don’t should on me.” It’s funny and it’s great advice… so why am I should’ing on myself?!

Google definition of "should"

This is the Google search response for the definition of the word should. Used to indicate obligation, duty or correctness. That sounds like a massive helping of guilt and shame. Used to indicate what is probable. God doesn’t work in terms of probability. If I believe in God (I do) and my messy life is an attempt at an act of worshipping him (it is) than the word should has no place in my decision-making.

Hosea has an excellent alternative:

“So now, come back to your God! Act on the principles of love and justice, and always live in confident dependence on your God.” (Hosea 12:6 NLT ’96)

It’s a pure, guilt-free, chance-free decision making matrix that honors God! And not once does he use the word OR concept of should. Wanna make a decision? Here’s how to go about it:

  • Does it bring me closer to God? This is the reason I exist; my decisions will support this relationship first and foremost.
  • Does it support HIS principles of love and justiceThe verses linked to the words “love” and “justice” remind me of the way God will look at my choices. Do they align with his?
  • Do I make this decision with confident dependence on God’s will? Even after the decision is made, am I confident that God will be the final shot-caller and His way is best?

God is so cool. From now on, my decisions will be a should-free zone. In fact, I’m going to write this verse on a post-it and stick it right above my coffee pot so that I can start every day with this reminder when I’m deciding what to do for the next 12-16 hours. What will you do with yours?


Dear Lord, I’m done with giving my decisions to guilt and chance. I’m done with feeling the urge to should on my life. Thank you so much for the life of freedom your love gives me! I can’t wait to start making decisions through your wisdom. You take such awesome care of me. Amen.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/135652812@N05/23375030520″>Decisions</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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