The other day Norma Jean and I discovered a quaint little breakfast spot on North Redington Beach, The Sweet Sage Café. It’s a combination café, gift shop, and boutique with a beautiful outdoor garden.
After a delicious breakfast, we began browsing through the gift shop reading some of the clever plaques. Many were inspirational. Others were funny. And a few slightly risqué. However, this one caught our attention. And we knew we needed to buy it.
Making good choices is essential to every successful endeavor in life. In fact, the quality and kind of life we live hinges on our daily choices. The prolific author Anonymous wrote, “Life is all about making choices. Always do your best to make the right ones, and always do your best to learn from the wrong ones.”
God made us free moral agents with the power to choose. Author and psychologist, Dr. J. Martin Kohe, went so far as to say, “The greatest power a person possesses is his power to choose.” And “every choice you make,” observed Zig Ziglar, “has an end result.”
The Bible is filled with examples of people who made poor choices with disastrous results. From the very beginning when Eve chose to listen to Satan’s lies to eat the forbidden fruit, to Lot’s choice of pitching his tents toward sinful Sodom, to King David’s decision to gratify his lusts with Bathsheba, we see how wrong choices can drastically affect your life, impact your family, and alter your destiny.
When Israel stood on the brink of the promised land, Moses in his farewell address challenged them with this stirring message.
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live…”
“But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish…”
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…” (Deut 30:15-20).
Unfortunately, Israel too often forgot God, disobeyed His Word, made sinful choices, and suffered the devastating consequences. This ancient, divine principle is no less true in the 21st century.
Leadership guru John Maxwell was right when he wrote, “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” Consider these steps in our daily choices.
Choices lead to actions. Repeated actions produce habits. Habits form character. And our character is who we really are and reaps an ultimate destiny. William Jennings Bryant expressed it this way, “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.”
Every choice, big or small, has a consequence. The career we choose. The person we marry. The friends we associate with. The books we read. The movies we watch. The vacations we take. How we spend money. The entertainment we enjoy. The way we manage time. And even what we eat and drink.
Even in times of extreme stress, adverse circumstances, uncomfortable situations, and disagreeable people, we have a choice. We can react or respond. Be grouchy or gracious. Be disruptive or disciplined. Become bitter or become better.
“No matter what the situation, remind yourself, I have a choice,” advised Deepak Chopra.
Ultimately all our choices ought to honor God, follow the principles and precepts of His Word, set a good example for others, and contribute to our spiritual growth.
“Make good choices today so you don’t have regrets tomorrow.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman