People have all kinds of reasons for moving. Some have to move for work. Some want to find more affordable housing. Others want to be close to family. Each person has their own reasons for moving or staying, and that makes sense. Moving consistently scores as one of most stressful events in life, so people need to think the decision through before relocating.
As Christians, it is important to make sure we have a Biblical grid that we can run these decisions through. My wife and I came up with a checklist of six questions that we believe Christians will find helpful when making major life decisions, like moving. Hopefully you will find them thought-provoking and beneficial.
1. Is my main goal to glorify God? This is a sobering question to ask because it is often forgotten in the mass of emotions that are wrapped up in making a move. Christians need to remember 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Matthew 6:33 is another helpful reminder, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” If we make God a priority, he promises to provide for the necessities of life (i.e. food and clothing).
2. How will the move impact my ability to care for my extended family? Scripture makes it clear that Christians must prioritize their relatives. 1 Timothy 5:8 leaves very little wiggle room, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” It’s important to think about how making a move will impact your extended family.
3. How can I stay connected to the local church? Hebrews 10:25 says Christians should not neglect “to meet together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Christians are to always be a part of a local church body. We need to ask if God wants us to leave a church family and if so, we need to be thinking about what local body of Christ we are going to join, even before we arrive there. In fact, you could argue that your future church is just as important as your future job because there are many ways to provide for a family, but there are far less churches that will help your family grow spiritually.
4. How will this move help me be an ambassador for Christ? The apostle Paul wrote that we are to be “ambassadors of Christ, God making his appeal through us.”( 2 Corinthians 5:20) This is incredibly helpful. Is the influence you have for Christ in your current place worth giving up for less influence in a more comfortable location?
5. Have I sought godly counsel? Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” The key to getting counsel is finding wise counselors. One reason people don’t talk to the leaders of their church about decisions is because they are afraid they will give an answer they don’t want to hear. We have to be honest with ourselves. Before making the plunge to move, run the idea by men and women who you know are living their lives according to the Bible.
6. Have I prayerfully searched Scripture for guidance on this decision? One of the difficult parts of being a Christian is it requires slowing down and carefully studying Scripture. Very few Christians are aware that the book of James has a passage that directly addresses moving to another location. “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit.” I will let you read the rest for yourself in James 4:14, but make sure that your plans are in line with Scripture.
7. What are the practical implications of the move? Is this a good use of the resources God has given me? How will this decision impact the relationships that already exist? (Husband-wife, parent-child.) There are many more practical implications that need to be considered in making a wise decision, but this should be a good start.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” All humans are tempted to rely on their own understanding. But if we want to be wise, we have to remember to look to the Lord and His revealed word to guide us.
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