Wednesday, January 11, 2012
While reading the posts on the American Christian Fiction Writers loop the past week, I read that several people plan to forgo the traditional making of resolutions and instead opt to embrace one word, and have that word steer the way they live for the next year. Words like hope, joy, persevere, serve, peace, renew, kindness, and excellence were listed just to name a few. This caused me to think about past resolutions I’ve made and how I failed miserably at most of them. So the adoption of a single word to be applied to my daily walk spurred great interest. After a week of asking God to impress upon my heart the word He would have me use, His whisper was very clear: the word is CHOOSE.
Every day throws new choices at us, from what to wear and what to eat, to checking off a list of priorities. Most of the time we aren’t even consciously aware of the choices we make. If we were, I believe some of those choices would be made more prayerfully. The privilege of making our own choices is very freeing on the surface, unless one first weighs the consequences of the choice.
Joshua 24:14 says, “Choose you this day whom you will serve…” So my choices will reflect my devotion either to God or to myself. In the book of Luke, chapter ten, Jesus was visiting with his good friends. While He sat and spoke, one of the sisters, Mary, sat at His feet and soaked up His teaching while her sister Martha scurried around the kitchen, cooking and serving. When she complained to Jesus, He said to her: “Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part…” Luke 10:42. Yes, we have obligations we must meet, but if we choose the serving over the worship, the choice is flawed.
Jesus set the example for us. In the gospel of John, as He often did, He illustrated His point by first telling His disciples the difference between a servant and a friend—a friend being one who knows the mind and heart of another friend. By this illustration, He encourages us to know His heart and His will. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” John 15:16. His choice was determined for the purpose of teaching His disciples to bear fruit. Jesus made a choice, and by doing so He showed us not only how to choose, but also the spirit in which the choices should be made.
An exhaustive word study seeking the word choose and its derivatives brings to light a list of scriptures to contemplate. I expect it will require most of the year to study them all.
What choices will I make this year? I can choose to be forgiving or choose to cling to anger. I can choose to be cheerful or choose to be sullen. I can choose to be a servant or choose to be selfish. In whatever decisions I make, I must first choose to be in God’s will.
Thanks for letting me share my heart.