The choices we make define us. The choices we make in life refine us. As Christians, the choices we make in life will bring us closer to our Lord or they will take us further away from Him.
We’ve made a commitment to live our lives according to the teaching of Jesus. We made this commitment when we professed Jesus as our Lord and Savior; and we reaffirmed this commitment with or Baptism. Through Jesus we are reborn. Our old lives are discarded forever.
What does it take to live up to the commitment we made to Jesus? To ourselves? What does it take to be #Christian?
It takes devotion.
For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are th Lords.
The choice we make will strengthen our devotion to Him and His teaching; or the choices we make will draw us away from Him, weakening our devotion.
Our devotion – the strength of our commitment – is influenced every day by the choices we make.
These choices come in all sizes. From Monumental, life altering choices to small, seemingly insignificant choices; and everything in between. Those monumental choices are easy to see. They are life altering, character changing, and belief changing choices. Their impact on our lives make it impossible to ignore them.
Then there are the small every day choices we make throughout our day. These are the ones we barely see, if at all. We can make these choices almost without thinking, as we have done throughout our lives. These are the most dangerous choices we make just because we can make them almost without thinking about them.
Throughout our previous lives we were programmed to think and act a certain way. Some of rebelled against this programming, for whatever reasons. These people were and are called rebels because they do not abide by the acceptable norms of the worldly society we live in. Regardless of your view of society, throughout your life you’ve created routines and developed habits. Some we create ourselves. Others are created by our environments, e.g., our home life, our career, etc. These are so much a part of ourselves that most all of us refer to them as our second nature.
We created today yesterday. We create tomorrow today. We have a choice in this. We can allow yesterday to corrupt today, and corrupt tomorrow. Or we can move forward in our devotion to our Lord, and become the people He intends us to be.
“In truth I tell you,” Jesus exclaimed, “unless you are reborn, you cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Being reborn means letting go of our past lives. Letting go of our past life is not always easy. We are, after all, the sum total of our life’s experiences. These experiences have made us who we are. These experiences have molded our lives. These experiences have brought us to Jesus.
And change can be hard. We resist change because we are comfortable with who we are. Change can take us out of our comfort zone. Change can, and usually does, force us to face some of the most difficult and painful experiences of our life. These experiences have a direct impact on our lives. They affect how we react to certain circumstances. They can have a negative influence on our lives. These experiences can, and often do, hinder or destroy our success in our relationships, our careers and our walk with Jesus. We would rather not dredge that pain and anguish to the surface. And yet, how can we be reborn when we are still chained to our old lives by these experiences we stubbornly refuse to rid ourselves of? Our refusal to let go of our past corrupts of future. Our refusal to let go of our past also disrupts our devotion to the way of life we have chosen.
Instead of purging our past, we add Christian routines and habits on top of our past and we proclaim ourselves to be reborn. We attend church services on a weekly basis. We join a church and offer our time in Ministry. We study the Bible both on our own and in church groups. We establish our ‘alone time’ for study, meditation and prayer. We offer prayers to those in need. We become as supportive as we can of our new found brothers and sisters in Christ. We join church missions. These can be local, out of state or international missions. We fellowship with our fellow congregants and other Christians as well. We talk about the Gospel of Jesus with our friends and family, teaching others about the Salvation and Reconciliation as He commanded us to do. Sometimes, we are fortunate enough to witness others accepting and embracing the way of our Lord and Savior. We rejoice in this witnessing.
We do all of the things we are supposed to do as Christians and more. We do all of things we are expected to do as Christians. All but one thing! We don’t let go of our past.
How do you deal with the everyday frustrations of life? How do you deal with anger and bitterness? How do you treat the people in your life? Your family? Your friends? Your coworkers? And strangers you encounter? How do you deal with the joys of your life? How do you deal with your successes?
It’s our past that binds to these reactions and responses. It’s not letting go of our past that cause us to stumble and fall in our walk. This is reflected in those small, dangerous every day choices me make. This is reflected in our choice of movies, television shows, music, the foods that we eat and the unhealthy life style choices we brought into our new life. These small, seemingly harmless choices can directly impact our walk with Jesus.
When we watch movies and television shows that glorify sex and violence, we are moving away from our devotion to Him. As we ‘get into’ the movie or show, we want to see the bad guys and the characters we don’t like get hurt or killed. We see this as justice. The bad guy gets what he deserves. This is the world view of justice, not Gods. And wanting to see harm come to anyone is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus.
The music we listen to can affect our moods, either changing them or reinforcing our current mood. The tone and tempo can be calming or feed our anger and aggression. The music we listen to has a direct and lasting effect on our psyche.
The foods we eat and other lifestyle choice have an impact on our overall health and well-being. He should eat healthy. And exercise to become and stay healthy and fit. Eating healthy is a very subjective term. Different people have different beliefs about what healthy eating is. Here, it means eating a balanced diet and being aware of your caloric intake. It also means preparing your meals in the healthiest manner. We are told to do this in scripture.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:19
The choices we make, both big and small, can and do have an impact on our lives and our devotion to our Lord.[wpurp-searchable-recipe]The Choices We Make – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]