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  • Writer's pictureStaci Sweet

Ignoring Hesitation

I’m presently reading a book by Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and a Professor of Law at New York University Law School, entitled ‘Just Mercy’. Though I’m only on chapter four, I couldn’t help but write about Walter McMillian. A successful black man, who was falsely convicted of murder, in the 80’s, after word got out he was having an affair with a white woman. When I read of all the unusual injustices Mr. McMillian endured, I wondered what led him into that situation. Then I was reminded of something that struck me in chapter one about his story where it reads:

Walter grew up understanding how forbidden it was for a black man to be intimate with a white woman….as it was, Walter didn’t initially think much of the flirtations of Karen Kelly, a young white woman he’d met at the Waffle House where he ate breakfast. She was attractive, but he didn’t take her too seriously. When her flirtations became more explicit, Walter hesitated, and then persuaded himself that no one would ever know.’ p. 26

Notice it said he ‘hesitated.’ When I saw that, I remembered something Bro. Kenneth E. Hagin used to say. He said that he could tell when something bothered his spirit, because he’d feel like something was scratching him, in his spirit, to where he knew he shouldn’t do what he was intending to do. That hesitation Mr. McMillian sensed was the scratching of the Holy Spirit warning him. In fact, the Latin meaning for ‘hesitate’ is haerēre, which means ‘to stick’. But unfortunately, he ‘persuaded himself’ not to listen and ignored the warning and as a result, ended up on death row. Am I saying that his predicament was his fault? Absolutely not! But we can all learn from his mistake.

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Don’t ignore hesitation. That itch, prick, or sense that something is sticking you is the Holy Spirit trying to get your attention. If you’re hesitant, wait. Don’t move or make a decision until you have the peace of God. And if peace is not there, don’t do it. No matter how fine, how exciting, or how much it might be.

Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, will You please forgive me when I ignored Your warnings and got myself into situations and involved with people, that I was hesitant about? Please teach me how to recognize when something is sticking my spirit. In Jesus’ name.

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SOURCE: Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy A Story of Justice and Redemption. N.p.: Random House, 2014. Print.

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