Difficult decisions we have to make sometimes

Actor Angelina Jolie (source: Wikimedia Commons)
The American actor, Angelina Jolie has been in the news recently after telling her story about having a preventative double mastectomy earlier this year after finding out that she carries the faulty gene that increases the chances of breast and ovarian cancer. Not only did her mother and grandmother die from cancer, her aunt died very recently from ovarian cancer, also a carrier of the gene.

When I read Jolie’s story I felt that she had been a very brave woman to make this decision, one that would not have been made lightly.

Would I make the same decision?

I have not been in this position, but, I think I would if it meant saving my life. However I read a blog comment recently that basically said this is the wrong decision for a Christian woman to make. Christians who undertake this form of surgery are “fearing” their own bodies and instead of removing their breasts, they should place their trust completely in the Lord.

Yes, we should place our trust in the Lord in all things, no doubt about that, however we are also told to make wise and sensible decisions. This is why most Christians take out house, content and car insurance (just in case their property is damaged), have health insurance in case they get ill or build a "rainy day" savings account.  Being  a Christian doesn’t mean we are exempt from illness, therefore if we are given information that will improve our health and/or reduce the likelihood of dying prematurely, we would be unwise to ignore this information. That advice might be minor, for example taking calcium tablets to help with bone strength or something far more serious as Angelina Jolie discovered.  To me it would be wrong to ignore this information after looking at the facts.

Yes, we all should eat healthy food and take care of our bodies (that's common sense and making sensible choices), but for a few, they need to do more.  Whilst it may seem extreme, if the results are reducing the risk of breast or ovarian cancer from 85% to 5%, I personally think it is the right and wise decision to make.

But like all things we do in life, no decision is made in isolation. It involves one's husband but most importantly, through pray to our Heavenly Father.

What do you think, is it wrong for Christians to act on advice to avoid the possibility of some sort of terminal illness?

Angelina Jolie article: link

The head of the breast cancer risk management clinic at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Kelly-Anne Phillips, said about one in five Australian women found to have the breast cancer gene mutations went ahead with a preventative mastectomy. (source)


  1. This tendancy to leave it to the Lord occurs in many areas, and is quite scary! It amazes me how often people seem to forget that the Lord gave them a brain to work things out!
    Surely if He intended us to just sit there and wait for Him to work in all things He would not have given us so much intelligence?
    The Apostle Paul could have sat back and expected the Lord to provide for him in all things, but he didn't! He worked as a tent maker.
    The Lord gives the parable of the men given talents and told to keep them till the master's return. They had to use their intelligence to take care of that money - and were held responsible to account for their decisions.
    It will not be any different for us.

    1. Completely agree in what you are saying. It would be ridiculous to be given sound advice that will save your life and ignore it, its a little arrogant. One of the reasons why Jolie did this was for her children (and she has two biological daughters who will have to make the same decisions too). She wanted to see them grow up, it was as much for them as for herself.

      We have to make decisions every day, some harder than others and we need to use our brains which is why we have them.

  2. I think she made the right decision. I'm sure if it were available to me, I would do that if I had to. As for Christian women "not trusting the Lord," I find that the ones who say stuff like this don't trust the Lord, either. Just observe them. But they're quick to dish out condemnation. I think it is not anybody's business to condemn in a case like this unless you have gone through an agonizing decision like this yourself. Good post.

    1. Yes, rather arrogant is their views of others, pointing the finger. I can't imagine how hard it would be to make a decision like this.

      I read a very sad story of three women (sisters) all with the gene - the two eldest sisters made the decision to have their breasts removed, the youngest didn't as she thought she was too young and wanted more children. She is now dying from breast cancer and only in her 30's. Her children won't have a mother soon. That shows how real this really is.


  3. I don't think any of us can make any of those decisions for someone else - either to pronounce someone as being right or wrong to do what they do. Who are we? Their judge? I say it should be left up to the person. I mean, these kinds of things can be taken to all kinds of extremes where people can take all kinds of things about their lives into their own hands (including euthanasia, which can also be seen as the ultimate form of prevention).

    Regarding the comments involving Angelina Jolie and Christianity - I had no idea she was a Christian - she certainly doesn't act like it... And if she isn't, then she can't be placed under God's Word and nor can she be expected to trust Him for anything!

    Some Christians choose to trust the Lord for things - and that is between them and God and has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else - no-one should be told they're doing right or wrong by trusting Him. God gave us a brain, but he also asks us to put our entire lives in His hand. We can make all the decisions we like in the world, but ultimately, He IS the One who gives and takes life, allows or disallows anything and everything - who better to trust than Him? :)

    1. No, I don't think she is a Christian, I referred to her as she is famous and recently had to make this decision, I'm sure Christian women have had to make these decisions too and it must be very tough decision to make.

    2. Yes, a very difficult decision. One that would seriously change your life on an emotional, mental, and obviously physical level.

  4. I think, for the christian, it would be the same for every aspect of a possible life-changing experience: prayer. Prayer does not always mean the Father will give any answer...sometimes, He leaves decisions like this up to the believer, and it isn't a question of 'wrong choice, right choice', but more of a matter of knowing He is with the christian in whatever decision they make.


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