Choices, Choices, Choices!

A major reality of our existence is the fact that we have choices to make. These decisions can range from the simplest things such as what to have for breakfast to heart-rending ones like selling the cherished house you have lived in for many years or ending what was once a close relationship. 

One thing we should learn along the way is that our choices matter. It seems odd to me that some people don’t get that.

Do you ever consider how you got to where you are today?  Some people believe “luck” (good or bad)  or chance has played a major role in their fortunes in life. 

Gary Player, a once famous golfer was asked about his success on the links. “Gary, how did you become so lucky on many of your shots?” Player 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. My experience causes me to strongly agree with the golfer’s wisdom. Make good choices and don’t leave your destiny to luck. 

The ability to choose is part of being human. Choice is a God-given privilege that comes with the responsibility to use it wisely. This is a life lesson every good parent wants their children to learn.

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 is clear about 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, and 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. Unfortunately, people in places of responsibility often disappoint us because they make choices that are not responsible. The late historian David McCullough once commented, “It is a mistake to assume that people in places of responsibility always act responsibly.”

 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. Our choices about our leaders are serious and have the 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 their choices have for those entrusted to their care.  

But remember also,  while we are not responsible for the problems and mess created by others, we do have a choice about how to respond. We can act and speak responsibly and honor Christ amid problems we did not create. Just as someone else’s poor decisions have affected us, our decisions affect us and those we love. Our choices have consequences. 

2. The choices we make determine our character. 

There is a real sense in which our character (who we are) 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 lives 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 like these to call attention to how our choices affect our direction in life: 

  1. Where are you in life? (emotionally, physically, spiritually).
  2. How did you get to where you are?
  3. If you continue making the same choices, where will you be a year, two years, five years from now?
  4. If you want to change, what will you need to do?

Look at the questions again. What are your answers? How have your choices influenced who you are today?

What kind of person do you want to be? We choose daily to become more and more like the person God created us to be. Who are you going to be? It’s your choice. Our choices determine our character.

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 a habit used to get me locked out of my garage. The latch on the screen door would fall into the ring and would lock when the screen door slammed behind me.        This was very irritating, especially if Cecelia was not home to let me in. I finally got tired of this habit of ignoring the problem and fixed the door.

Now, every time I go out that door I adjust 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 a bad one. Over time your politeness, foul language, how much and what you eat and drink, the way you listen, and your respect for yourself and others developed into habits.

The level of trust our family and friends have in us is based on the consistency of our lives and our habits. Those habits began as a choice and have become more and more a part of us with every passing day.

Are you habitually thoughtful of others? Are you habitually lazy? Are you sloppy in the way you dress or take care of yourself?     

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, and 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 ourselves through his death, burial, and resurrection.

But the fact of what Jesus has done to  save us should inspire and challenge us to make choices that promote our growth and honor him. 

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, your family, or your career?

You cannot travel on two roads at the same time. Please choose to follow Christ and his teachings; you will be glad you did.

I want to ask you to consider a small investment that will make a big difference in how you make choices. This choice can pay large dividends now and in the future. Get this book for yourself or for someone else you care about right now.

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