Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. As free people, we have options and because we have options we must necessarily make choices. Choices are not always easy but are an inevitable part of life. Experts say we make about 35,000 choices daily; consciously and unconsciously. Deciding not to make a choice is a choice in and of itself. Choices also have consequences. We make choices, and the choices we make, make us. Some choices may seem small but have significant consequences.
Shortly before his death, Moses admonished the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
The people of Israel consistently made wrong choices; some led to physical death, while others led to spiritual death, misery and captivity. Despite having full knowledge of the consequences of some of our choices, we still make them. Choices determine your character; the depth of your character but most importantly choices affect your destiny.
Some choices have trans-generational consequences. Gen 2:15-17 “15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.'” In the following chapter, Genesis 3:1-6-Adam and Eve make the choice to eat the fruit; the consequence was not immediately apparent. Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey led us to our current state. Romans 5:12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. The ripple effect of their choice was nothing they could have imagined.
2 Samuel 11:1-16 narrates how King David made questionable choices which led to calamitous consequences. The sequence of choices David made- from refraining from war, to being with another man’s wife, to instructing that Uriah be placed where the battle is fiercest, ultimately led to a series of tragedies in David’s life and family. The choices we make in our idle times have significant consequences.2 Samuel 12:11 onward illustrate the havoc David’s family endured because of his choices. While we have the option and free will to make choices, that liberty is not afforded to us when it comes to the consequences of our choices.
We cannot live self-centered lives. Choices cannot be made cavalierly. Choices should not be influenced by pressure. Jesus, in His final hours was under intense pressure. He was at the precipice of death; He knew that shortly, He’d encounter betrayal, be tortured, and ultimately die. Though tempted to succumb to His will, he chose to accomplish the will of God. The consequence of His choice was salvation to all men. What choices do you make under pressure? Pressure wears off, but the consequences of those choices do not. Wanting to be like others, lust and desire as well as appearances can influence our choices.
Genesis 27, we read the account of Jacob’s deception of his father, Isaac to receive the blessing of the first-born, which belonged to Esau. After Esau discovers Jacob’s act, he is enraged and vows to seek revenge against Jacob. In the preceding scripture, Genesis 25:30 – 34; Esau traded his birthright for food. The pressure to satisfy his hunger led to a destructive choice that he later forgot he made. Our hunger and earnest desire to satisfy self whether by fame, attention, or affection can have detrimental effects on ourselves and those connected to us.
Choices determine your destiny. Knowing the right choice is not the same as making the right choice. The sum of your life is a result of the choices you have made along the way. You are here because of someone’s choice. You have the power to choose, exercise that power judiciously and not cavalierly. God has given the freedom to choose, but He is delighted to help us make the right choices.