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Sometimes there is more than one right way of doing things

Many, many years ago, I think it was sometime during the Pleistocene age, I was working with a political party, and my boss gave me some advice that has stuck with me for years.

He said:

“Dean, there is more than one right way of doing things.”

As Christians, we tend to fall in the trap of thinking there is only one way of doing something, God’s way, often cleverly disguised as our way. Now there are certainly things that we need to be dogmatic on including the Deity of Christ, the supremacy of Scripture and morality.

But there are a few elements of the Christian faith where there is clearly more than one right way of doing them.

One of those is whether to honor Sunday as the Lord’s Day.

I was reading an interesting article on CBN, about Chick-fil-A and the company’s decision to close on Sunday. The company is owned by the Cathy family, devout Christians, who have publicly supported traditional values.

Despite being closed one day a week, it is now the third largest fast food restaurant in America. Its average restaurant doubles the sales of a McDonald’s restaurant that opens on Sunday.

And since the biggest sales days for most fast food restaurants are on the weekend, some estimate Chick-fil-A’s sales would be 15% higher if it opened on Sunday and is potentially losing out on $1.2 billion in overall sales annually.

Yet, they have decided to stay closed on Sunday as a way of honoring God and God has obviously blessed that decision.

Chick-fil-A is a privately owned business and because of that is free to stay closed on Sunday. If it had stock holders, they would be demanding the restaurants open on Sunday to increase the value of its stock.

Prior to taking over as CEO, Dan Cathy, the son of S. Truett Cathy who founded the chain, made a pledge to his dad that the company would remain in private hands and would not open on Sunday as a way to honor God after Truett died.

And in fact, it well-known by Americans that Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday and that they do it to because of their faith.

Many of us are familiar with the story of Eric Liddell, a devout Christian, who during the 1924 Olympics refused to race the 100-meter final because it was scheduled for a Sunday. By refusing, he basically lost out on what was probably a gold medal because he was one of the best runners of that era.

Was he a loser?

Some would think yes, but years later a Hollywood blockbuster, Chariots of Fire, would tell the story of his decision to do this. It won several Academy awards and was viewed by millions.

Honoring Sunday as the Lord’s day is one of those things where there is more than one right way of doing it. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul was referring to when he wrote:

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.

Romans 14:5-6 NASV

In this passage, Paul said a person can set aside one day to honor God or treat every day the same. Both opinions are right. But the key here is being convinced in your own mind. The decision is based on what you believe, not on what others think. This is a personal decision.

So in this instance there is clearly more than one right way of doing this. Which means if the Seventh Day Adventist want to have their church service on a Saturday, and treat it as a special day, they are not wrong in doing this.

I tend to fall on the treating every day the same, and I am right as well and God has clearly honored Chick-fil-A’s decision to honor Sunday, and they are also correct.

Where we make our mistake is by insisting ours is the only way and everyone else is wrong.

This “more than one right way of doing things” can fall into many other areas of life such as there is more than one right color to paint a wall.

Used properly, it is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received.


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