In Peter Drucker’s book The Effective Executive you’ll read the following story:
General Marshall during World War II insisted that a general officer be immediately relieved if found less than outstanding. Marshall flatly refused to listen to the argument: “But we have no replacement.” “All that matters,” he pointed out, “is that you know that this man is not equal to the task. Where his replacement comes from is the next question.”
Sometimes we are scared to do the right thing because of the potential consequences. For example, I once had a belligerent teenager serving in our worship arts department when I was a youth pastor in Maryland. After I warned him several times and he still didn’t listen, I decided he needed to be let go. But I was scared to do what was right because I didn’t know who would replace him. But I concluded (as General Marshall did) that this man was not equal to the task. Where his replacement would come from was the next question.
It’s scary to do the right thing sometimes, but I have learned that when we do what is right, God honors us, and helps things to work out. Asking “But who will replace them?” is the wrong question. The right question is “What is the right thing to do in this situation?” Once you’ve determined the right course to take, you act, and leave the rest to God. That’s what I did with my belligerent teenage volunteer, and let me tell you that God provided us with a new (and much more qualified) volunteer, who served in that role for almost four years, and did so with a great attitude. I wonder what I would’ve missed out on had I decided to let the potential consequences scare me out of doing what I knew was right. I wonder what you’re missing out on right now if you haven’t acted on something you know is the right thing to do because you are scared of the consequences. Do what’s right and let the chips fall where they may. Then trust God to work it all out.