My father would occasionally use the following phrase when dealing with a son (me) that would occasionally challenge his fatherly authority: "Son, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way; you choose". Mind you, on only two occasions did using this expression engender a physical result from my response, which ended up being the really 'hard way'. The other fairly common occasions when he would say this to me we simply went somewhere private (for a walk with the dogs, or even out for an icecream) and had a 'heart to heart' talk (mostly him talking and me listening).
It wasn't untl many years later that I realized what he was really saying; that the easy way was actually the 'right' way, and the hard way was actually the wrong way. The 'hard way' only seemed as if it was the easy way, at that time. This appears backward to what was have been taught in church about good and quality decision making. We have been taught that 'living by faith through grace' is easy, and living by obedience to a set of defined commands is hard, when in fact, the opposite is true.
Life is full of 'occasions' that give each of us the opportunity to choose either the 'right way' or the 'wrong way' of doing or believing. For me, it was learning from my father that making the right choice at first may seem as if it is difficult, but as you grow in your understanding of these life situations the hard decisions become easier, until you wonder how it was that you could have been so stupid as to believe the wrong choice was the right choice. Most people never realize this, choosing the hard way of 'faith' instead of the easy way of truth.
"But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." John 3:19.
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