Years ago, Lindell Doty, a retired preacher and friend of mine now living in Florida, suggested that everybody has choices to make. Now, making decisions can be hard — sometimes so hard that we delay them as long as possible.
In the list of things that frighten people the most, decision-making ranks pretty high. You must choose to get up in the morning. Sometimes that’s difficult because, for whatever reason, we didn’t get enough sleep the night before. I have to make the choice to go to work, even if I don’t like my job. The choice is mine as to whether I’ll live with integrity and deal honestly with others.
It is also necessary that we make good choices. Some want to believe one choice is as good as another, but wouldn’t it be tragic to face God having made the wrong decisions in the things that matter the most?
Choosing, on the basis of credible evidence, to believe in the existence of God is surely at the top of the important choices people must make. Accepting the Bible as the word of God is a vital choice. Paul put it this way in his last letter to his student Timothy: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
In his word, God points us to some good choices that will make a difference in life — both for us and others:
Choose to love rather than hate.
Choose to smile rather than frown.
Choose to endure rather than quit.
Choose to praise rather than gossip.
Choose to act rather than delay.
Choose to forgive rather than begrudge.
Choose to pray rather than despair.
I can choose to obey God and live as a Christian. Choosing to live a godly life allows me to avoid going through life just reacting to circumstances. I can choose to live in faith rather than doubt.
Country singing icon George Jones recorded a song in 1999 (written by Billy Yates in 1997) titled “Choices.” It’s one to which many can relate:
“I've had choices since the day that I was born.
There were voices that told me right from wrong.
If I had listened, no I wouldn't be here today,
Living and dying with the choices I've made...”
Many say they don’t want to choose between God and the devil, good and evil; but even in their refusal they’ve made a choice. In order to live successfully — by God’s definition of success — faith must affect our circumstances more than allowing environment to affect our faith.
Obviously, these aren’t always easy choices — but if we make them in faith, they’ll bring a huge reward.