“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14, 15

The choices we make in life are critical. Often what appears as a simple choice of no consequence becomes an important choice of multiple consequences. Choices made early in life seem insignificant because numerous options seem to be a part of living. “After all, we always seem to have numerous options that come with most of our decisions. If we choose poorly, big deal! We will just make another choice.”

Choices are not as easily undone! (a) A choice resulting in an addiction [regardless of the kind of addiction] rarely is simple to abandon because it is powerful. (b) Choices that require an investment of resources often devour those resources. Would you use your credit or savings differently if five years ago you saw the recession coming? (c) Choices which require time do not return time if abandoned. Time spent is life lost!

As life diminishes, one’s choices diminish. As time and life pass, the person is reduced to living from the choices he or she has made. How often have you met a person over fifty years of age that does not wish “I could go back and do this differently.” Fortunate is the person who has only one such thing! What we all discover is this: “I can change me right now, but I cannot change how I used the past.” Even if we have the joys of changing “now,” we still have the “sorrows” of a lost past. The joys of “now” are real, but so are the “sorrows” of a misused past.

The Israelites knew many blessings from God: the ten miracles that released them from slavery, the crossing of the sea, the sustaining and guidance in the wilderness, and the gift of Canaan. Yet, they either took God for granted (“Look at how important we are!”), or they rebelled against God (“We will do things our way!”). The result: centuries later their descendants continued to pay for their ancestors’ bad choices.

Choose soberly and wisely—you and your descendants will be affected powerfully by the choices you make. The more God is incorporated in your decisions, the more good choices you will make!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 2 April 2009

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