August / September 2015 - Vol. 81
CHALLENGES IN LIVING TOGETHER AS COMMUNITY

 Back to the Future movie
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The Choices You Make  
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by Tom Caballes

“He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” 
- Romans 2:6–8

One of my favorite movie series as I grew up is “Back to the Future.” It shows how a decision of a person in the past affects what happens to him in the future, and in the movie, Marty McFly was able to travel back in time to correct the mistakes made in the past, although he messed it up more. How I wish such a machine is available now! But what I learned from that movie is that the decisions we make today forms what our future will be. We are all laying the foundations of our future based on the small and big decisions we daily make. Of course circumstances affect a lot of what we become, but circumstances work in tandem with our decisions to form our future. We essentially are the product of the choices we make – not by our parents, or whoever else influenced us in our youth. So, are you responsible to where you are at the moment, or is it someone else? Are you ready to face the future based on the decisions you made in the past and the decisions you will be making from now on?

So How Do I Make the Right Choices Now?

  1. Have you clearly identified what are the goals of your life? Everyone has written or unwritten goals for their lives. It forms our beliefs, our values and priorities, and it eventually dictates your choices. So, what are you passionate about? Know who you are and what your life is about, then pursue them with passion and purpose. If you have not written them before, now is the time to clearly identify them.

  2. Make careful decisions about your life – the bigger the decisions are, the more discernment is needed. It would be great to have pastoral help when you make significant, life-changing decisions in your life. Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future [Proverbs 19:20].

  3. We need to be deeply entrenched in the Word of God, because it deeply affects how we think about things and how we decide. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path [Psalms 119:105].

  4. It is easier to decide when things are black and white, but it is much harder when issues are in
    different shades of gray. Sometimes the choices we face are between good things – and which ones are better. Sometimes we are faced to choose the lesser evil. Again, this is where practical wisdom in the form of brotherly or sisterly advice comes in. Seek advice and wisdom and you will appreciate it!

  5. We need to be mindful of the eternal consequences of our decisions: will this decision bring me closer to God or not?Will this decision make God’s will be done? Is God pleased with this decision?

  6. Lastly, we need to ask ourselves: will we regret or be thankful for that decision later in life?Will my life be blessed by this decision, or will my life turn for the worse? Aim to live a life with no regrets!

Other Scripture references: 

  1. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. [Proverbs 3:5-6]
  2. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit … and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. [Hebrews 4:12-13]
  3. Other references: Proverbs 24:6; Deuteronomy 30:19; Proverbs 14:12; Joshua 24:15; and Galatians 6:7-8.

For personal reflection or group sharing

  1. Am I the person of my own decision, or do I blame someone else for who I am?
  2. How often do I seek advice and guidance from those who can help me, or am I very independent?

Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

 

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 (c) copyright 2015  The Sword of the Spirit
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