Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Power of a Decision


"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..." Deuteronomy 30:19

From the moment I get out of bed, to the moment I get back in, I'm faced with hundreds, some days thousands, of decisions.

Some are as simple as what necklace should I wear today? What clothes should I pull out for the boys? Should I organize that closet today, or wait until tomorrow? What should we have for dinner?

We're all faced with those decisions and we usually make them without even really thinking too hard.

But everyday we're also confronted with bigger decisions that have much more impact on our lives. Am I going to choose to be in a good mood today, or let my emotions run amok and make everyone suffer? Am I going to listen to my children when they come to me with their troubles, or am I going to keep working on the computer and put them off until later? What television shows will I invite into my house? What conversations will I have with my husband and children? Will I respond to that friend who called for help, or will I pretend I didn't get the message?

Every day we're making decisions that impact our lives and either produce life or death in our relationships, in our careers, in our homes and in our faith. Some decisions don't appear to be a big deal, but they're bigger than we give them credit for. The words that come out of our mouths, the actions we take, the things we spend our time and money on, the activities we commit to - all of the decisions we make add up and define who we are - and, more importantly, they strengthen and encourage, or weaken and tear down parts of our lives.

I think so often people walk through life and never really ask themselves these questions: Who do I want to be today, tomorrow or in ten years? Am I making life-filled decisions, or death-filled ones? Am I investing life into my relationships, my career, my home and my faith?

I can make any decision I want - it's the gift of freewill - so I must choose wisely. Each decision is packed with purpose and carries in it the power of life and death.

One way I've discovered to make life giving decisions is by bearing the Fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), because the Fruit of the Spirit represents life. Fruit is produced by a living plant and has in it seed to produce more plants. When we bear fruit (by the choices that we make) we are planting seeds into our relationships and life. If we're bearing love, then we are planting love. If we are bearing kindness, then we are planting kindness. The reverse is also true. If we're bearing anger, bitterness, resentment or fear, that's what we're planting.

Because God asks us to bear the Fruit of the Spirit, we know that through the strength of the Holy Spirit we can do it and do it well. It's a decision we make every day. It's not always easy to be kind or loving, but it's possible and it produces life. So choose life, that you and your decedents may live.

What about you? Do you think about the power you have in making every day decisions?

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3 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, Gabe! I meditate on this all the time. I love the photo you found to go with this discussion, it's so poignant. Many people don't think about things until they are left to face the consequences of those choices, and then wonder why. No, we can't see into a crystal ball to know 100% what lies ahead. But the Word of God in the Bible does show us the way toward life-making decisions and how discern them.

    I can still hear my father's voice: "well, you can do anything you want...(and my childlike mind would race with the glee of permission, until he spoke further)...but you'll still have to face the consequences..." And isn't that what people sometimes still think--wishful thinking that we want the freedom to choose--without the consequences attached to those choices, especially if they are negative.

    But the weird paradox is that the things we most want, the positive stuff, doesn't come through making negative choices. Sometimes it takes a long time to grow up and into this...

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    1. Exactly, Anne! I've had the opportunity to witness someone I love make a horrible decision, and though they repented and asked God for forgiveness, which they received, they still had to walk out the consequences of their choice--and will for the rest of their life. It's heartbreaking, but the reminder we all need to think through our choices and make the best decision to align ourselves with the Word of God.

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