Choices have consequences. Choices have impacts. The impact of our choices ripples through our life and touches the lives of many others. It is important then to begin to understand the nature and consequences of the choices we have and how to make wise choices. The truth is when we learn to make good choices we will find ourselves with increasing good outcomes. When we make bad choices, we will find ourselves with increasing bad outcomes.
A choice is nothing more than an opportunity. It is an opportunity to grow strong or to grow weaker. A choice is a blessing from God. A wise choice opens the door to blessings and promotion. An unwise choice will lead to loss and death. “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:19–20, NIV84)
A choice set before us reminds us of the goodness of God and how He created us to choose Him. God created us with free will to make choices and thus set a choice before mankind from the very beginning. “And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”” (Genesis 2:16–17, NIV84) The essence of free will is the decision on will we choose to honor God and His will in our decision or will be choose our own will and our own desires.
The Lord is very near us in the when we come to the place of decision. “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14, NIV84) The Lord desires that in every decision we honor Him. “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Proverbs 8:10–11, NIV84)
We are warned against making unholy choices. We are told that choices have outcomes. Those who choose against the Lord’s will, will experience the consequence of that choice. “Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;” (Proverbs 1:29–32, NIV84) The Lord will give us over to our unwise choices. God has chosen that in our free will we can reject His wisdom and thus experience negative consequences. “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:28–32, NIV84)
So while we know that unholy choices lead to death and destruction, holy choices lead to a greater understanding of God as well as empowerment by God. “May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.” (Psalm 119:173, NIV84) “Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.” (Proverbs 3:31–32, NIV84) The word ‘violent’ in the Hebrew speaks of one who is wrong, false, damaging, walking in injustice and unrighteousness.
Before we make a choice, we are in a season where we realize that we will need to choose. I call this the time of “pre-choice”. How we spend this time is critical, because it will impact how we choose. The time of the “pre-choice” is the time where we walk in pride or in humility. The humble will seek God, His Word and His will with the intent to obey. The prideful will decide that they know enough to make a decision.
Before the choice, we can seek God for wisdom with the full assurance that He will answer. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:5–8, NIV84)
We know as we seek God in the “pre-choice”, that God will speak through His Word. “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7, NIV84) It is the Word that brings wisdom and truth. “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130, NIV84)
In the season of the “pre-choice”, it is important to consider what all the outcomes of the choice will be. “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15, NIV84) The unwise will vote based on other people’s opinions but the wise man will consider the outcomes of his choice. In fact, this season of the “pre-choice” is where wisdom or foolishness is established. “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.” (Proverbs 13:16, NIV84) The wise will acquire knowledge for the decision and the foolish will spend time doing other things. The wise who examine outcomes will prepare for the choice. The foolish who have not studied the issues related to the choice will accept the status que and even not make a choice. “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 27:12, NIV84)
The “pre-choice” season is God’s season of preparation for us to seek Him, His Word and His desires for our future. The wise will use the time to honor God by seeking His choice. The simple will not.
If the “pre-choice” time has been spent with God, the time of the choice should be straight forward. We choose what honors God. “I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.” (Psalm 119:30, NIV84) “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”” (Joshua 24:15, NIV84)
Now the season of the “post-choice” is upon us. This is the time where we walk in the outcomes of the choice. It is good to watch and see if blessings or curses are the outcomes. If we find that loss and destruction and confusion are the outcomes, we can learn that we have chosen unwisely.
When those who have greater maturity see the wrong decisions being made, they should prepare themselves to teach and instruct with the hope that those who are making wrong decisions will repent and begin making wise decision. “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:22–26, NIV84)
There is an answer to those who chose unwisely. It is the grace and mercy of God that draws us to learn from our poor choices and come to repentance. “AND WHEN all these things have come upon you, the blessings and the curses which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, And shall return to the Lord your God and obey His voice according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being, Then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion upon you and will gather you again from all the nations where He has scattered you. Even if any of your dispersed are in the uttermost parts of the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and from there will He bring you. And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will do you good and multiply you above your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being, that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:1–6, AMP)
God loves repentance. “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”” (Luke 15:10, NIV84) God’s grace gives us opportunity to repent. “… for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4, NIV84) Repentance is nothing more than being honest with ourselves and God and acknowledging that we made wrong choices. We then acknowledge that God wants better choices and will empower us to make wise choices. We choose to obey God instead of self.
The process of repentance is shown in Psalm 51. It is born of humility that acknowledges the wrong and seeks to make things right.
The outcome of repentance is that we begin again. We become wiser. We grow and we learn. We also walk in the mercy of God. “”Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18, NIV84) God will also restore us to His original plan for us. “”I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm— my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.” (Joel 2:25–26, NIV84)
Each day we must make choices. “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15–16, AMP)
Ingrid Hansen has published several books available on Amazon.com.
More information can be found on the main website ingrid-hansen.info.
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