Do you use your power of choice?
Imagine going into a restaurant and asking the server, "What am I having tonight?"
As ridiculous as that sounds, some of us go through life letting others make our choices for us. But from the time God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, he gave mankind the power of choice. We call it free will.
Surprisingly, a large number of singles don't want to make their own choices. They're afraid of choosing the wrong thing. They want someone else to decide for them.
But when you do that, you're not only limiting what you can receive, you're putting yourself in the position of a child, who's not responsible enough yet to make their own decisions.
Without realizing it, we can limit our own choices. One of the ways we do that is through debt. By running up debt, you restrict what you can do. You may have to stay at a job you don't like. You may have to live somewhere you don't like.
Debt has a way of narrowing your choices down to one: Pay off the debt before you can do what you want.
On the other hand, saving money can increase your choices.
If you have a nice emergency fund saved, you may be able to quit a job that isn't right for you. You may be able to move to safer housing. You may be able to donate to worthwhile causes. Savings can even improve the quality of healthcare you receive, and thus the quality of your life.
The sooner you recognize that every action has consequences, the better you will get at thinking ahead. Acting impulsively might be fine in choosing what to do for the evening, but it can be disastrous as a strategy for life.
You're not God. You don't know the future. But based on your own experience and the counsel of wise friends or relatives, you can often project how something might turn out. That's why it's smart to seek advice from trusted people when you're making a major decision.
Who can you trust more than God? Don't put out a fleece to test God, as Gideon did, but you can find God's principles for wise living in the Bible.
Many people in the Bible messed up their lives because of their bad choices. Their stories serve as examples for us. Even Solomon, the wisest ruler who ever lived, chose the false gods of his many wives, strayed from the one true God, and ruined his life.
God's principles aren't hidden or disguised. They're plain for us to see and understand in the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and the Sermon on the Mount. In the Gospels, Jesus tells us clearly how he wants us to live.
Often we have two or more choices when we think we have only one. You can choose not to pay your taxes--but you'll go to prison if you make that choice. You can choose to disobey the speed limit--and lose control of your car.
When we sin, we sometimes believe we didn't have a choice, but that's false. That's Satan's logic and what he wants you to believe.
The power of choice lets you affect your destiny. Choosing God's way is often the harder way, but you can be absolutely, 100% certain that he will reward you for your wise choice later. Charles Stanley frequently says, "Obey God, and leave the consequences to him." That stands as one of the smartest considerations a Christian could ever use when faced with choices.
For believers, the power of choice is limited to God's way or the world's way. On the surface, God's way seems restricting, but the truth is that God's way is the path to freedom.
"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)
That is the ultimate paradox: By losing our life to Christ, we gain it. By holding to Jesus's teaching, we gain the freedom of eternal life. When we choose God's way, we no longer have to worry whether we did the right thing. Even if circumstances should go badly, God will turn things for our good.
So the power of choice is not a myth but the most solid truth you can find. When we choose God and let his way dictate all of our choices, we receive the freedom that no other choice can equal.