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Choices, Excuses, and Consequences
Choices Have Eternal Consequences
My Foot's On the Rock (Christ) -
Christian Living Books
Choices are the hinges of destiny
Pythagoras said that choices are the hinges of destiny. This present article is a short devotional study into the choices we make. I will look at their importance and their consequences. I pray the reader will glean better decision making tools from this hub.
The story is told by former President Ronald Reagan. I do not know if this story is true, but it illustrates the value of choosing. Former President Ronald Reagan said he learned the must for decision making early in years. An aunt had taken him to a cobbler to have a pair of shoes prepared for him. The shoemaker asked young Ronald, "Do you want a square toe or a round toe?" Reagan hesitated and waivered. So the cobbler said, "Take a day or two and let me know what you want." A few days later the shoemaker sees Reagan on the street and asks him his decision. "I still haven't made up my mind," the young Reagan answers. "OK," said the cobbler. When the boy receives the shoes, he is stunned to see that one shoe has a square toe and the other a round toe. "Gazing at those shoes every day taught me a lesson," said Reagan years later. "If you don't make your own decisions, they will be made for you!”
There was once a college student. His name was Stephen but his ‘friends’ called him, “Spike.” They nicknamed him this because the young man was anything but wild. His friends took it upon themselves to adjust and transform him into this preferred image. “We will make a ‘Spike’ out of him!” They scoffed with childish laughter. These friends set out to rain a menagerie of practical jokes upon Stephen. For examples, they filled the entrance door of his dorm room with dead crickets; they made 100’s of prank phone calls to his room; they fed him homespun, bad advice daily; the list of tomfoolery was day after day torture, ill timed, in bad taste, juvenile all the way. However, Spike was always a good sport, and the better he took it the more determined the conspirators became! Late one night, his delinquent friends jammed his door shut. They hoped he could not escape and would have to miss class the next morning. They wanted to hear him make excuse to the professor. They were as anxious as grade shoolers awaiting recess. However, to their surprise Spike was in class the next morning, and on time. How did he do it? He jumped out his window, a very high window. Why did he do it? He had made up his mind that school was more important than having an excuse. He was determined.
I see a lot of Christians this way. They are at church nearly every service. They have made up their minds to put God first. Their decision builds great testimonies over time. My dad was this way, and I owe part of my love for church due to his decision!
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
Joshua challenges the people. They have to make up their minds. Are we going to serve God or not? I see a lot of unhappy church goers. I ask why. How can this be with those who are supposedly Christians? The answer comes to me. The light switch of my mind comes on and I realize that they have not truly set their minds to serve and put God first. When I really identify, “I am a child of God,” then I have an eternal joy unspeakable.
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. (11) Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. (12) Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. Genesis 13:10-12 (KJV)
Lot is Abraham’s nephew. In their travels together both grow quite wealthy (Genesis 13:2-5). Because of their combined assets, both were forced to separate (Gen 13:6-9). Lot is given the choice of land and direction. He makes a choice and it seems at the time to be a good one. However, it resulted in much sorrow and hardship! This is why we seek God. Daily decisions often bring eternal consequences! Lot makes a choice. He does not appreciate the outcome and consequences of his decision. He looks to the easier path rather than the best path.
A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one . ~Rita Mae Brown
I am sure that Lot felt at peace with his decision. He had no intention of indulging in the debauchery of Sodom. He only wanted to pitch his tent toward that den. He made the decision at once and by sight. Our decisions are often made in this manner. Christians need to seek God in all our decisions.
Life is the sum of all your choices. ~Albert Camus
Look at how Lot suffered from the choice he made:
- · He suffered war: Genesis 14:11 2.
- · He was Kidnapped - Genesis 14:12 3.
- · He endured oppression and torment by the citizens of Sodom - 2 Peter 2:7-8; cf. Gen 19:1-11 4.
- · He lost his material wealth - Gen 19:15-16,24-25 5.
- · He witnessed the death of his wife - Gen 19:17,26 6.
- · He suffered the shame of incest with his daughters - Gen 19:30-36 –
Lot disdained the sins of Sodom, and, because of this, he was referred to as a righteous Person- cf. 2 Peter 2:7-8. However, this is purely God’s mercy and grace (even as with us today). We are all righteous by grace. Nevertheless, choices have eternal consequences.
Five of the greatest choices that greatly affect our lives, our futures, our family, our friends, our eternity:
1. The greatest choice you can make is to follow Jesus. This is the path to both eternal life and abundant life in the here and now.
2. Choosing your CAREER. This decision has a lasting effect upon your marriage, family, and your service to God.
3. Choosing your life MATE. There is something worse than being alone, being with the wrong person. Also, make no mistake, marriage has eternal implications. Divorce cannot simply erase a bad decision. There are financial, family, children, reputation loss or gain, plus other consequences. Pray my friend; do not be swayed simply by your emotions!
4. Selecting your FRIENDS. You will be known by the friends you have.
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)
The righteous is more excellent than his neighbor: but the way of the wicked seduceth them . Proverbs 12:26 (KJV)
5. Choosing WHERE YOU WILL LIVE. Will you pitch your tent toward Sodom?
Pray! It never hurts to ask God for guidance. Whatever, a Christian does it should be with the Lord’s guidance in your mind. Caution: You will make wrong decisions in life. It is inevitable; you are not perfect. Don’t despair, but use this experience to try to get back on track!
A youthful man of 32 had been selected president of the bank. He'd never imagined he'd be president, especially at such a young age. So he sought the honored Chairman of the Board and said, "You know, I've just been appointed President. I was speculating if you could give me some advice." The old man quickly responded with just two words: "Right decisions!" The young man had anticipated a bit more than this, so he said, "That's really helpful, and I am thankful, but can you be more precise? How do I make right decisions?" The shrewd old man simply reacted, "Experience." The young man said, "Well, that's just why I am here. I don't have the kind of know-how I need. How do I get it?" Came the brusque reply, "Wrong decisions!"
Be quick to repent, stay determined, and forgive yourself. God can turn bad into good. However, know that many consequences of bad choices in life, YOU WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH! "Remember Lot" the next time you face an important decision.