May 24, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: Decisions, Choices, and Consequences

Brother-Aaron-236x300Everything we do in life is based upon the decisions and choices we make. It is not our parents, our past relationships, our job, the economy, the weather, an argument, or our age that is to blame.

We alone are responsible for every decision and choice we make.  And rest assured, there are consequences for every decision and choice we make.

I think that all too often we choose to forget those consequences, or at a very minimum, we don’t want to accept responsibility for them.

We live in a time in America today when the politically correct thing to do is blame our failure on somebody else. If Little Johnny or Little Susie is failing math, then certainly it must be the teacher or the school system that is at fault.

Lord knows it cannot be their fault – or ours! It cannot have anything to do with the choices they made, or the choices we made for them! And if Little Johnny or Little Susie has behavioral problems, then there must be something psychologically or medically wrong with them.

So, we take them to the doctor and get a prescription for Ritalin. (And I do acknowledge that in some cases this is necessary).

Oh! It couldn’t have anything to do with how they are being raised. Surely it has nothing to do with single parent homes and live-in relationships, illegitimate parents (There is no such thing as an illegitimate child!) who have five children with five different partners, illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, the lack of loving discipline, or horror of horrors, the American family’s disengagement from Bible believing churches.

Nah! None of that could possibly have anything to do with the problem! And on and on I can go. If our marriages fall apart – then it was our spouses fault. If we get fired from our job – it is our boss’s fault.

And if our country is going to hell in a hand basket – which it is – then it’s the politicians’ fault!  Again, I could go on and on. However, the question is, when will we decide that we and we alone are responsible for the decisions and choices we make? We may not be able to control our country or our neighbor, but we can control our decisions and choices.

As Joshua said to the Israelites in Joshua 24:15(KJV), “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.”

I think Newton’s Third Law of Physics has a very real practical and Spiritual application for every decision and choice we make: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

For every decision and choice we make that minimizes God, morality, Spirituality, and our Christian heritage, conversely we allow the filth of sin to reign in our lives, families, society, and our country.

Play make believe with me for a moment. Say you and I like chocolate chip cookies. I invite you to my house and pull out my famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. I gather all the ingredients and preheat the oven. I go by the recipe to the tee.

When they are done we eat them up. Oh my! They are good! We then decide we want some more.  So, we use the same ingredients and the same recipe. We experience the same wonderful results.

However, the third time you decide you want peanut butter cookies.  But we pull out the same ole chocolate chip cookie recipe. We follow it to a tee. However, when the cookies are done we stand bewildered that we don’t have chocolate chip cookies.

What’s the lesson here? If we want things to be different, we must change the recipe! So it is in America today! If we want things to be different, we must make better decisions and choices.

And this does not begin at the national level. It begins when we as individual Christians make the same choice Joshua made, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Our decisions and choices have consequences. Hosea 8:7 (KJV) says it this way, “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind …”

While none of us can change the past, my encouragement to all of us today is to make better decisions and choices today, so we change our future!

 

Brother Aaron

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