The Choice Is Yours
Choices change our lives…
By Barbara Dahlgren
Each New Year we make resolutions to help us change our lives for the better. Although we usually have every intention of keeping them, all too soon they are abandoned because change is hard. Most of us want changes to instantly happen without any effort on our part. We think if we write them down they will miraculously come to pass. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
That’s why for the past few years I’ve resolved not to make resolutions, but to focus on daily choices instead. So my blogs have been devoted to choices and will be until I exhaust my idea file about choices. Hmmm??? Not sure when that will be, but one things for sure, we will never exhaust our need to make choices. We face them daily.
Some choices are proactive and some are a little more passive, but just as important. In other words, what we choose not to do is as important as what we choose to do. On the surface, consciously “choosing not” to do something may seem complacent, perfunctory, or lazy. I assure you that it is not any of these things. In fact, what we “choose not” to do can take a great deal of thought and self-control, plus save us a lot of present and future trouble. Ultimately, what we choose to do or not do greatly impacts our lives and the lives of those around us.
Here are some givens in life: God has forgiven us for our sins. Nothing we can do will ever earn us salvation because it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8) Nothing we can do will make God love us anymore than He already does.
However, even though God gives us salvation, grace, and love, He does not automatically give us good habits or moral character. Those qualities are determined by the choices we make.
Right choices bring peace of mind; bad choices bring difficulty.
God does not need to zap us when we do something wrong, because wrong choices bring their own penalties. When we make wrong choices, we punish ourselves. It’s the cause and effect principle. What we sow, we reap. The seeds we sow today determine the harvest we reap tomorrow. Although God always forgives us when we make poor choices, the effects remain and we have to deal with and live with them. Choices set off a chain of events which shape our lives and sometimes the lives of those around us.
While it is that true time and chance happen, many of our problems could be avoided if we trained ourselves to make better choices. A lot of trials are brought on because of our poor choices; other trials may not be our fault, but still we must choose how to respond to them. So there is always an element of choice in everything we do.
Consider this… The Bible is full of exhortations encouraging us to walk in the way of the Lord. As we read the Bible we can listen for God’s voice whispering to us, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) God exhorts us to do this or don’t do that, but the choice is ours.
Some choice quotes about choices…
“We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.” ~Ken Levine, video game designer and author
“It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.” ~J.K. Rowling, author
“When it snows you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.” ~Anonymous
“Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways.” ~Proverbs 3:31
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” ~Roy Disney, co-founder of Walt Disney Productions