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Gospel Gazette Online
Vol.  10  No. 11 November 2008  Page 5                    powered by FreeFind

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I Had No Choice

By Marilyn LaStrape

Marilyn LaStrapeHow many times have we heard that statement? How many times have we said, “I had no choice?” We always have a choice! The only question to be answered is this: Are we willing to accept personal responsibility for the choices we make no matter what? It is those mind-numbing, life changing consequences of our choices that are sometimes almost impossible for us to face and handle!

When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the freedom of choice. Since He placed them in the Garden of Eden, the human race has been confronted with making choices between right and wrong, good and evil.

We make choices every day God gives us. Some of the choices we made when we were younger are affecting our lives to this day! Some of the choices we are presently making will impact us until our lives end! We begin to make some of these major life directing choices early in life.

We make the choice to graduate from high school or college. We make the choice to struggle through those years of high school and college for several years, or we make the choice to drop out of high school or college and struggle, in many instances, for the rest of our lives. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:8; “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Making the choice to stay in school is not an easy one, especially today with all the pressures in society to get rich quick! Being steady and patient takes discipline when we realize getting an education is worth having, and it will take work and sacrifice.

We make the choice to move to another area, state, or country or stay where we were brought up from childhood. That choice alone will many times dictate our employment opportunities and possibilities of advancement in that line of work. That choice many times also dictates whether we will someday move from that location or if we end up living and working there until retirement.

We make the choice to marry or to stay single. Marriage is ordained by God. After God created Eve, Genesis 2:23-24 says; “And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” Our choice of a lifelong mate will most definitely affect our future in a way we cannot begin to appreciably comprehend at the time of the marriage!

We make the choice to have children or not to have children. Psalm 127:3-4 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” Children who are brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord are a blessing indeed to their parents. Children left to rear and guide themselves will ultimately bring shame and disgrace to their parents. There are those who have regretted their choice to have children or not to have children. Either choice cannot be overstated or underestimated!

We make the choice to have a job/career, or to live off the government, or live from another’s financial means, or go into a life of crime to obtain money. From the beginning God’s expectation has been for us to w-o-r-k for a living! Genesis 2:15 says, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” First Thessalonians 4:10b-12 says, “But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.” The command to work is further emphasized in 2 Thessalonians 3:10; “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”

We make the choice to be health conscious or not to be conscientious about our physical and dental health. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” As one good sister stated, “God wants a temple, not a rundown shack!” Yearly physical check-ups and 6-month/yearly dental visits can save us thousands of dollars and untold pain and agony due to illness and disease. An ounce of prevention really is better than a pound of cure!

We make the choice to follow God or Satan. God has given us two choices in paying our debt of sin that we owe to Him. We can all understand debt, especially in the current economic atmosphere! Some of us pay our debts; and then there are those who do not. What we must understand about our sin debt is that it will be paid! Our first choice is to accept the price that Jesus Christ made in payment of our debt when He died on Calvary. We accept this payment for our sin debt when we obey the Gospel in obedient, trusting faith. Our other choice, if we reject the Lord’s sacrifice, is to pay for our own sins in hell forever! The choice is ours because God cannot and will not allow sin to go unpunished or dwell in His presence! Second Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” In Acts 17:30 Paul said, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” Our choice to obey God is imperative if we expect to live with Him eternally.

Scripture overflows with passages urging us to choose between right and wrong, good and evil. Our choice to serve God and keep His commandments will permeate and direct every other choice we make. Moses presented the children of Israel with a choice between life and death (Deuteronomy 30). Joshua demanded that they choose who they would serve (Joshua 24). We, too, have been given the same command regarding our daily choices in this life.

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