About Choice

 

We hear a lot about choice. But, is choice a good thing or a bad thing?

  1. When shopping
  2. When choosing alternative behaviors

 

It can be said, truthfully, that choice is responsible for the sad state of affairs the world is in today.  Probably every bad thing in the world can be related to choice in one way another.

 

Still, there seems to be no rush for people to surrender their, “Choice.”

 

Earlier I asked whether choice was a good thing or a bad thing. That’s a bit like asking if, water, fire, cars, guns or any of a multitude of other things are good or bad. It’s not things that are bad but rather the way things are used!

 

Why do bad things happen to good people? Bad Choices!

Why have I not lived up to my potential? Bad choices!

What keeps people from making good choices? Bad choices!

 

Now that last answer wasn’t really much of an answer to the question. The question, “What keeps people from making good choices” deserves an answer that doesn’t mock the question. Let’s look closer and see what we find. Why do people make bad choice?

 

I think our fallibility is perhaps the most applicable answer. What do I mean by that? Consider the results of honest mistakes. No ill intent is involved but simply a lack of knowledge. I turned left when I should have turned right. I bought when I should have sold. I failed to notice a stop sign.

 

Other times we know better but engage our ability to do what I call, “Magical thinking.” Magical thinking is when we know what the results of an action will be but proceed as if by magic the results will be different this time. It’s related to the answer, “Somehow.” How will you make that happen? Somehow!

 

Sometimes we simply don’t care about the outcome as regards other people. We accept that others may be hurt but simply don’t care. Recently this has been referred to as the “Me” generation. The truth is this has happened since the days of Adam and Eve. Was Cain concerned about his brother in some positive way?

 

(Gen 3:2-6 NIV)  The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, {3} but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" {4} "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. {5} "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." {6} When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

This deception has elements of magical or wishful thinking. It also has elements of fallibility in it. It certainly shows a lack of trust in God, our creator. I suppose it also contains the, “Me” element as well.

 

Here is the crux of the situation. What we say is not always what we do.

 

(Josh 24:15-16 NIV)  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." {16} Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods!

 

We cannot avoid all bad choices. After all we are fallible. But we can certainly avoid many more than we do if we serve God with our entire beings. If we seek to know Him and what He would have us do then many “Bad” choice will simply not be made. How often have you wished you could have a do-over? Don’t you think Adam & Eve and Cain, and even king David would all have loved to have a do-over? Better yet, wouldn’t it be great if we never needed a do-over?

 

Guess what! There is coming a day when we will not make bad choices. And how do I know that. Hear this.

 

(Rev 21:3-7 NIV)  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. {4} He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." {5} He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." {6} He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. {7} He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

 

If bad choices got us into the situation we see in the world today. Then when God gives us a, “Do-over,” it is obvious we will no longer be making bad choices. But that doesn’t mean we will not be making choices at all. We will simply be making right choices. That is to say good choices.

 

Consider God. God is constantly making choices, but He never makes bad choices. Jesus, while on earth, was constantly making choices, but He never made bad choices. And don’t think God doesn’t make choices. If He doesn’t then I ask you why do we bother to pray to Him. Aren’t we asking Him to make choices in every petition we bring to Him? And don’t set limits on God. He could make bad choices but He simply will not. He will not! Jesus could have made bad choices but He simply would not. In the case of the Father He is not fallible so he doesn’t make mistakes. In the case of Jesus, the Son of God, he always did the will of the Father and that kept Him from making mistakes. Now, brothers and sisters, each of us can be a child of God. And as a good child we can avoid making mistakes the same way Jesus did. We just need to always do the will of our Father in heaven. When you enter into the kingdom of God he will make all things new. And that includes a new you. A, “You” that is smart enough to always know and do the will of the Father. Yes, you will still have free will but you will also use it, as you should!