Evaluating your choices

Our responsibility for a choice continues well past the moment in time when we made the choice. We must also consider the outcomes of our decisions to see if our decision was a Godly decision or not.

Indeed God is above all and His plans can be beyond understanding. We often say about decisions made that “God is sovereign” and thus we should not worry about the results of our decision. This is a subtle incorrect theology and those in it will say now that we have made the decision, we can pray and not worry about the outcome. Those who embrace this thought will say things like “It does not matter, God is still on the throne and trust Him.” This incorrect thinking ignores the truth that God has given us choice and freewill to choose to sin or to live holy. This theology removes any responsibility for the outcome from those who made the choice.

Jesus understood those who would not evaluate their choices. He called them blind. “He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”” (Matthew 15:13–14, NIV84)

Some would say that once we make a decision, the only thing we can do is leave the rest to God. The truth is that life is a journey and we must always examine the fruit of our decisions. We must learn and grow in wisdom. We must constantly evaluate our decisions against God’s Word and decide if the decision was righteous or unrighteous. We must repent of those decisions that are unrighteous. God calls an unrighteous decision “sin” and we must also learn to call unrighteous decisions “sin”.

Some would say that it is unloving to point out the consequences of sin. The truth is that sin leads to death and God has always raised up people to speak to a generation that is engaged in sin. Nathan spoke to David. Jeremiah spoke to his people. There are and will continue to be people who care enough to tell the truth and hope the people will repent.

Do not run away when the truth hurts. Run instead to God who transforms darkness into light and who will heal your brokenness. This is the example of David who repented when Nathan confronted him about his decision to sin. Nathan also taught David that sin has consequences. “Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”” (2 Samuel 12:13–14, NIV84)

Evil and sin will progress as far as we allow it. Sin is empowered by our decisions to turn away from God and His path. The strength of sin is never stronger than the grace of God. The decision is ours. It is not wise to keep walking with your eyes closed.

God directs us to give careful thought to the decisions we make. If we are not seeing blessing in the outcome, perhaps the bad decision requires repentance. “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.”” (Haggai 1:5–11, NIV84)

We are admonished to pay attention to wisdom as we make decisions. We are warned that the path of poor decisions leads to death. “My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.” (Proverbs 5:1–6, NIV84)

We are told that Godly decisions can be made when we take the time to seek God, His Word and to consider the outcomes of the decision. We are told that the foolish who do not think about the outcome of their decisions will be deception. “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” (Proverbs 14:8, NIV84) The righteous will think before acting. “A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways.” (Proverbs 21:29, NIV84)

Choices have consequences. Sinful choices have a penalty. Sometimes it is only when we see the poor outcomes do we begin to seek God and His will. “You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”” (Ezekiel 23:49, NIV84)

If we fail to understand and evaluate our choices, then sinful choices will destroy us. We become blind and deaf and unable to hear and discern the truth of God. “”Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see! Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one committed to me, blind like the servant of the Lord? You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing.” It pleased the Lord for the sake of his righteousness to make his law great and glorious. But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them; they have been made loot, with no one to say, “Send them back.” Which of you will listen to this or pay close attention in time to come? Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law. So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.” (Isaiah 42:18–25, NIV84)

Let us not only make choices but take the time to consider the outcomes of the choice.

 

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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