- Dr. Gil Stieglitz
Affirmation #2: You are responsible for your own choices.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." (Galatians 6:7)
We have become convinced by the culture around us that we are not responsible for the choices that we make or the life we build through those choices. But God says the opposite. We are like farmers sowing seeds and living in the harvest of what we have sown. Whatever you are sowing is what you will reap. The fruit of our choices is often dark and bitter. We choose pleasure over what was right, and we reap a diminishing return for it. If we have sown pride, cynicism, anger, and selfishness, then we will reap a whole crop of these fruits, along with loneliness and misery.
God has created a world for us to live in which He is sovereign, but one He allows us to choose within. We have the free choice within our circumstances over what we think, what we say, what we do, our attitudes, and our motives. By choosing differently in these five areas, we can completely change our lives. God does love us and has a wonderful plan for our lives, sourced in Scripture. If we apply His principles to our lives, then we will begin building an abundant life that grows toward the ultimate abundant life in heaven.
Too often, we want to blame others for our life. It is the sales territory. It is the people at work. It is my spouse. It is my family. If only these things were different, then I could have a different life. Remember, though, it comes down to sowing and reaping. Yes, it is true that some fields into which people sow start out with more weeds and more rocks, but it is their choices that determine what their life is like. Many people have had awful circumstances, yet went on to great, productive, abundant lives. For example, Daniel, in the Bible, saw his parents slaughtered and was taken captive to serve those who killed his parents and destroyed his nation. He is remembered in Scripture forever now.
It is essential that you grasp that it is your choices in your present situation that will allow you to embrace the abundant life that Christ has planned for you. Yes, you will make mistakes and choose poorly from time to time. But Christ offers forgiveness and repentance. It is your choices that direct your life towards the righteous and wonderful plan that God has in mind for you. He wants you to succeed more than you do.
I have heard people moan and groan about what is happening to them, but we can trace back to the choices they made that brought them to this place. Yes, bad stuff happens in a sinful world, but the person who embraces faith and chooses righteously changes their life. You are not a victim. You are not at the mercy of forces too big for you. Own your choices and begin watching your life change in ways you cannot imagine.
Ask yourself, "What is the crop I am reaping now?" Is it the kind of life you want to be living? If it isn't, then you can change one of the five things (our thoughts, words, actions, attitudes, and motives), and count on God to change the things only He can change. I used to tell my girls when they were small and came out to the kitchen with a bad attitude to go back into their rooms and find their happy spirit, because the attitude that they were displaying was a choice. If one of my daughters rolled their eyes at something I said, I would point out the eye-rolling was a choice they made and they needed to make a different one.
Where are you excusing yourself because you are convinced that what is happening in your life is not your choice? Life is the way it is because of those above you or those around you? This is not true. It is the way it is because of your choices. You can choose to be different, which will, in turn, cause the others to have to change to your change. Don't give away your choices to the autopilot-default-settings in your life. They are often set all wrong for a great life. They are set for a cynical, negative, selfish life. Own your choices.
What are some realistic choices? Choose to hang around positive people. Choose to say positive things. Choose to participate in positive, goal-oriented things. Choose to have a positive and encouraging attitude. Choose to watch or listen to positive movies, songs, or shows. Think positively.
When you find you have chosen poorly with the wrong actions or words, then seek God's forgiveness and dig up the seeds of destruction that you have planted in your life. Refuse to let them grow into a destiny of disaster. Start right now and begin choosing the right thing in every place you can. You can choose rightly far more than you think you can.
Join me next week for affirmation #3.
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