Our choices matter. Do you ever consider how you got to where you are today? Some people believe “luck” (good or bad) or chance have played a major role in their fortunes in life. I don’t believe in luck or chance to determine my fate. I believe in God’s grace and mercy and my ability to choose.
I heard the story about a famous golfer who was asked about his success on the links. “Gary, how did you become so lucky on many of your shots?” The golfer replied, “I find that the more I practice, the luckier I get.” He chose to practice, to put in the work and not depend on “luck.”
This man loved the game of golf and took responsibility to do what was needed to compete and win at the highest level of his sport. He made choices and those choices mattered.
The ability to choose is part of being human. Choice is a God-given privilege that comes with responsibility to use it wisely. Choices have consequences, something we hope our children will understand. Our choices matter, they affect others as well as ourselves. Our choices can have good or bad effects in the near or distant future, even in eternity. Let me give you 3 reasons why your choices matter.
1. Our choices have consequences.
The Bible tells us that choice and the corresponding result of our choices are part of being human. The Bible teaches the common-sense principle of “sowing and reaping.” We see this principle work in nature, sow a seed and you get the plant whose genetic makeup is in the seed. Many people have missed or completely ignored that basic rule of life. They make decisions without weighing the potential consequences, the harm this might do to themselves and others. Adults in places of responsibility as parents, teachers, and leaders who ignore this basic principle do great harm to those they are supposed to care for.
For example, we have open borders, escalating crime rates, high gas prices, food prices etc. We are living in a time when decisions by government officials are hurting all of us and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Choosing a president and other governmental leaders is a serious matter. Choice is a powerful thing and has potential to harm millions. Lesson: the higher up the chain of authority a person is ( president, governor, pastor, teacher, or parent) the more potential for good or harm our choices have for those entrusted to care for us.
But remember, while we are not responsible for the problems and mess created by others, we do have a choice about how to respond to it. We can choose to try to act and speak responsibly and honor Christ in the midst of problems we did not create. Just as someone else’s poor decisions have affected us, our decisions affect us and those we love.
2. The choices we make determine our character.
There is a real sense in which our character is the result, the consequence of the choices we have made thus far in life. Jesus said our choices are determined by what we consider important, our values. He tells us to choose to lay up heavenly treasures and not those things that can be destroyed or stolen. Then he says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to be very careful about what we choose to put at the center of our life because it will determine our character and our choices. ” Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
During many years of counseling folks I often asked questions such as these:
- Where are you in life? (emotionally, physically, spiritually).
- How did you you get to where you are?
- If you continue making the same choices, where will you be a year, two years, five years from now?
- If you want to change, what will you need to do?
Who do you want to be? You and I can choose daily to become more and more like the person God created us to be.
3.Our choices tend to have a cumulative effect.
Have you noticed how often you do things and respond in certain ways without thinking about it? We all do that. That’s what we call a habit.
I remember how I used to get locked out of my garage when I went out into the yard because the latch would fall down into ring when the screen door slammed behind me. This was very irritating, especially if Cecelia was not home to let me in. So, I chose to fix the door. Now, every time I go out that door I fix the latch without even thinking about it; a good habit that began as a choice and has become an almost unconscious act.
The same principle is true whether your habit is a good one or bad one. Over time your politeness, foul language, how much and what you eat and drink, the way you listen, your respect for your self and others became habits. The level of trust of our family and friends have in us is based on the consistency of our lives, our habits. Those habits began as a choice and have become more and more a part of us with every passing day.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “Sow an act, develop a habit. Sow a habit, develop a character. Sow a character, develop a destiny. “
Our Character determines our ultimate destiny. Don’t misunderstand me to be saying we can become good enough to go to heaven.
This is not about God owing us something because we have a good character. The truth is we can’t begin to develop Christ-like character without Christ in us. Only those with Jesus in our lives will make it. And that life is a new birth that begins with a choice to trust Christ to save us from our self through his death, burial, and resurrection.
Study the picture above for a moment. Are you at an important decision point about which road to take concerning your faith, your character, your marriage, family, or career? You cannot travel two roads at the same time. Please choose to follow Christ and his teachings; you will be glad you did.
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