To Choose or Not to Choose, That is the Choice!

At a Men’s Advance (some call it a Retreat) a couple of years ago, we examined the life of the biblical Joseph and saw four main characteristics of his life that we would like to emulate, by God’s grace.  One characteristic was “to humbly and faithfully serve the Lord no matter what my circumstances.” Such a characteristic demands that we make a CHOICE (like Joseph) to see ourselves not as victims of our past or present circumstance, but as men who trust that God is in control and has a plan for our lives no matter how blurry things are to us at the moment. Thus we can choose to serve Him wherever we are with whatever we have because we know He sees things clearly. C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity speaks of the importance of choices.  “I would rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices … you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature; either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself… Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”  So you see, our choices become a part of God’s sanctifying work in our lives where we can become more and more “conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29) or more and more like our “hellish” selves.  So, how can I live a miserable life? CHOICES. How can I make other people miserable? CHOICES. How can I live a life that is free from self-destructive tendencies? CHOICES. How can I become more useful to God and helpful to others? CHOICES.  God uses our choices to shape us and move us toward maturity and the realization of glory. The power is not in our choices, but our choices are vehicles of God’s sanctifying power. Perhaps where we can begin is by choosing not to blame our problems on anyone else; taking responsibility for the consequences of our own sin;  trusting Jesus for His forgiveness; and forgiving others as we have been forgiven. Just a thought…

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