The Impact Of Our Choices
By Kendra Clarke
Choice is an integral and inescapable part of life which often carries with it moral and spiritual consequences. For example, we can choose to cheat or not to cheat; lie or not to lie, steal or not to steal; study hard to make good grades in school or conversely, cut class, not study or prepare and fail, etc. The very essence of choice cannot be delegated to others in an effort to avoid being held accountable for our actions. This occurs because the act of delegating to others is still a choice and with that choice both negative and positive consequences may occur. Free will is a gift from God. It separates us from the animals, allows us to utilize our intellect to think rationally to make well-informed decisions, and it provides us with the opportunity to choose either good or evil. This gift should not be taken lightly as it carries with it an awesome responsibility.
Many have misconstrued “free will” as having the ability to do anything and everything they want to do when they want to do it without first considering the limitations on “free”. Some take it for granted and give little, if any, thought as to how their decisions will impact not only their lives, but the lives of others as well. The choices we make dictate the lives we lead. We are where we are today because of the choices (both negative and/or positive) we made yesterday. Where we end up tomorrow will be largely due to the choices we make today.
As simple as that may seem to some, many have not yet grasped this concept or have chosen to ignore it completely. Just as we plan to succeed, we also plan to fail by a lack of knowledge, preparation and planning. According to Proverbs 21:5,
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Furthermore, James 4:17 also tells us that,
“Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin”.
There are no shortcuts in life, and in a world where instant gratification is sought and preferred over delayed gratification, our children suffer and the cycle repeats itself. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”.
We must ask ourselves what lessons are we teaching our children? Why are so many lost and have gone astray? Are we setting a good example for our children because it is so obvious that “doing as we say and not what we do” is not bringing the desired results. Many of our children and young adults do not take their education seriously. Neither do they have respect authority. Some do not even value life as they can take the life of another person. Some have become hardened criminals before they are out of high school and do not realize that their choices will undoubtedly affect them later in life. Romans 8:7 tells us that,
“The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”.
Those who are wise understand that though we make good choices, set goals for ourselves and strategically plan to meet those goals, there are no guarantees that we will meet those goals if they are not God’s will for our lives. Proverbs 16:9 tells us that,
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
Furthermore, James 4:15 informs us that,
“Instead you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
So, we need not plot, deceive or scheme to obtain material wealth, or gain an upper hand on others. Matthew 6:25 tells us,
“to look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap…. and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
“He will render to each one according to his works” (Romans 2:6)
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).