“Each decision affects the outcome of my day and it’s effectiveness for the Kingdom. How important is your next choice?”
We just went through a season in our nation of making some important choices. It is a ritual that happens once every four years, and this election was important in many ways. The issues were very clear: the war on terrorism, sanctity of life, health care, the economy, and philosophy in which we would conduct our nation’s domestic and foreign affairs. The candidates expressed often opposing views on each. A clear choice was evident. The American people spoke, and the result will be decisions and policies that will affect our generation and ones to follow.
Choices are important, especially in times like these.
Choose: verb; to pick out by preference from what is available;
Choice: noun; implies the right or power to choose, usually by the free exercise of one’s judgment.
The fact that we do have the ability to choose is an indication of what our Creator thinks of us.
Choices surround us, from the moment we step out of bed. “Do I brush my teeth, do I go for my morning exercise, do I drink one cup of coffee or two?” This process continues through the day. “Will I eat a lunch that is good for me, or good for my taste buds? Will I treat my employees with respect? Will I do a good job for my boss? Will I take some extra moments with my children? Will I give some moments to the others around me?” As we crawl into bed, the sum of our day really is measured by the choices that we made.
The measure of our lives is the cumulative effect of our daily and moment-by-moment choices.
As parents, we love to see our children make the “right” choices. What defines a “right choice”? Think about it for a moment. What is the element of a “choice” that makes us swell up a bit of pride and say: “That’s my boy (girl)” ?
To me, it is when one of my daughters or son decided to do something that is good for those around him, as well as himself. When they decide to live a life that is “Others Centered”, their decisions make me smile.
Jesus once told His disciples:
“Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
Doing what is best for others is a summary of what the Mosiac Law taught. Interesting! This deserves some more study! Look at the promise that God made to the Israelites in the desert right before they entered the “Promised Land”:
“If you fully obey the Lord your God by keeping all the commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will exalt you above all the nations of the world. 2You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:
You will be blessed in your towns and in the country. You will be blessed with many children and productive fields. You will be blessed with fertile herds and flocks. You will be blessed with baskets overflowing with fruit, and with kneading bowls filled with bread. You will be blessed wherever you go, both in coming and in going.
The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! Deut 28:1-6
Obviously this was a promise made to a group of desert nomads over 3500 years ago, yet there are some principles here that still apply. God says that when we model His style of being “Others Centered” in our moment –by-moment choices, then we will experience His presence and His blessing in our lives. This philosophy of living can be applied to our familial relationships, our businesses, our politics, and the ministries that we are involved in. God says that He blesses us when we make choices that are good for others.
Take a look around your neighborhood. Dedicate your day to making choices that are good for your family, and good for your neighbors, even if these decisions cost you some personal comfort and inconvenience.
This is the measure of God’s People: That they are willing to be used by Him to help others.