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Friday, June 16, 2017

Life is All About Choices

"Life’s all about choices” is one of the mottos of my boss.  He has said it so often, his students know it’s coming and can finish the sentence.  It may be a motto but it’s so true.  You make a choice literally millions of times a day, some consciously and many unconsciously.  You may weigh heavy what you want to eat for a meal but you may not give a single contemplated thought on where to place your foot for the next literal step you take.

Recently, three areas of life stood out to me as areas where it would be highly useful to pre-decide rather than wait til spur of the moment.  By pre-decide, I mean, to make a choice and commit to it now so that down the road, when distraction or hard times come, you have already made the choice and can hopefully stick with it. 


Area 1:  Study God’s Word

I grew up in a Christian home and spent quite a bit of time in church activity and being taught the Word.  That said, I didn’t truly make my faith personal until I was 18 years old but at least I had years of background knowledge and people pouring the Word in to me.   In the last 12 years, I have gone about studying the Bible numerous ways but I certainly have not been as dedicated as I wish I was at it, reading it every day, for instance.  That said, I can see how important God’s Word is and have been challenged to make that time in God’s Word a priority, not just because God wants to use it to shape me, but more so because He wants me to know Him.  To know that He is Savior, Judge, Healer, Redeemer and Friend.  Honestly, sometimes when I fall into depression pits, He seems so far away and this is where Bible study is so vital.  If I dig into His Word in the light, it will be the Light that shines in my dark (Psalm 119:105). 

Joshua 1:8

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

2 Timothy 3:14-17

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 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.”


Area 2:  Gratitude

Gratitude is an attitude and one I wish to have more of in my life but often I am reactionary in displaying it rather than wearing it as a perspective.  I have heard it encouraged for people to keep a thankfulness journal.  I have kept one on and off but I generally keep it when I am low and am trying to look up.  Now, that’s not a bad thing, but I was encouraged this week by someone who made the choice to keep a thankfulness journal daily no matter where they were emotionally.  Their reasoning was this:  If I am consistent in taking in all that God is doing and being thankful when things are good, I will be more quick to remember God’s love and faithfulness in the hard times and struggle. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Psalm 136:1

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Colossians 3:15-17

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”


Area 3:  Boundaries

In Christian circles, I’d guess that boundaries are most often talked about in context of dating relationships.  Some of my friends committed themselves to not kiss until they were engaged and some, even waiting until marriage.  Boundaries, be it physical or otherwise, should be pre-decided ahead of time in order to have your conviction to lean on when temptation comes.  Beyond the scope of dating, boundaries are useful in many situations to try to fend off dependency.  Boundaries are good when in a relationship with a friend, family member or acquaintance that could take advantage of you or vice versa.  Boundaries are useful in social settings when peer pressure can steer you all sorts of directions if you have no stance on the topic.  Boundaries are essential in career and/or ministry, so that you don’t burn out.  Boundaries are wise in finances in order to be good stewards of what God has provided to you.  There are at least a handful of pre-decisions I have made for myself so that in the event that the decision is difficult for me because of circumstance, I’ve already made the right decision for myself. 

Psalm 16:5-9

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.”


Life is all about choices and I’ve made a lot of really bad ones in my life.  I’m a wretched sinner when all the facades fade away but luckily, I don’t have to be eternally known as that.  The most important choice I ever made was believing in Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.  Acts 16:31 says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”  I know I am a sinner and that sin would separate me from the holiness of God but through Jesus, God offers forgiveness and payment for that sin, so that I can be made new in Him here on this earth and enjoy a new body with Him in my eternal home. 

So what kind of choices have you made?  Where will they lead? 

And for my own accountability, anyone who is reading this, feel free to drop me a line anytime to ask what I am learning, what I am thankful for or how my boundaries are standing to help keep me in line and my eyes fixed on Him.

Until next time,

In Christ,

Joy Lynn

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