Some of our decisions hold little or no future consequences. A choice of salad dressing at dinner may have a momentary impact, but it’s not something one is likely to remember. Yet other decisions one makes will show up in a life for years to come. A person may choose to attend one school over another. A person may decide to change jobs. A person adopts habits which affects his/her health. A person ends a relationship due to a conflict.
The Bible provides a picture of a person in Psalm 112:1-2 where we read, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.”
The Bible is telling me that my children and grandchildren are impacted by my love for God, my generosity, and my desire to follow His word. They watch and learn through the daily choices, actions and words that depict my spiritual integrity. Near the top of that list is generosity. We read further, “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” (Psalm 112:5-8)
Our choices reflect our character and people remember the character of others. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of President Abraham Lincoln, “His heart was as great as the world but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong.” It’s good to be generous with our money. It’s also good to be generous through forgiveness. Expressions of generosity are choices.
It’s helpful to deliberate carefully when making a choice. Asking the counsel of others brings needed insight. But prayer is the most important step in the decision making process. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) Our God knows what choices we should make. With all the choices will make it’s good to remember some principles.
- We choose wisely when we’re not emotionally high or low.
- We choose wisely when we look at the big picture.
- We choose wisely when we practice delayed gratification.
- We choose wisely when we determine to serve rather than be served.
The future can be filled with countless blessings for our lives, and those lives connected to ours. Or the future can be complex and challenging. Choose for the long run with God’s wisdom.
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com