Have you ever thought back over your life and considered the decisions you have made─especially those that have taken you in a new direction? We have all made good decisions and bad. Hopefully, there have been more good ones than bad and there would be more good ones if we would just stop and think before we act.
Far too many of our decisions have been made because of emotional circumstances and these can often get us into trouble. For example:
· A young boy and girl are together and their hormones are raging. If they don’t cool down their emotions will take over and their lives could take a course they hadn’t planned.
· Anger overwhelms a person. One is dead, the other headed for prison.
· Another goes to a party, drinks too much and decides to drive home and there is a wreck on the way. People are killed.
We make thousands of decisions within a day’s time. Most are nearly without thought, but by reflex. Our decisions can go from the mundane on one end to the critically important on the other end.
Rare is the child, especially teenagers, who willingly listen to and “obey” their parent’s every word. This is just part of growing up. “Parents are old fogies who just want to cramp my style,” so they think.
Isn’t this pretty much the same attitude God gets from people of all ages who refuse to listen to Him? If I am a Christian and have this attitude, it will quickly leave my immature mind as I mature in Him. I will always be His child, and I know where home is. However, to have this attitude as an unbeliever and refuse to listen can cause me eternal damage─an eternity in hell.
Yes, we have all made good and bad decisions down here on earth. What should I do about those bad decisions that I have made on this earth? The apostle Paul said:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
That is the best advice I have ever read or heard on this subject. It should be! It came from the Holy Spirit of God. The Lord Jesus is the Author of the Bible and that is what He advised Paul to do for himself, and also for us.
It is not easy sometimes to put those bad decisions behind us, but that is the only way to properly move on in our lives. For example;
· What benefit is there for a divorced couple to hold onto bad feelings and fight? None. It just makes a bad situation worse.
· What benefit is there in holding onto a grudge? It just makes us bitter and miserable.
· What benefit is there to grieve over something stupid we did? None. We just waste time and become miserable.
So we didn’t catch the pass that would have won the game. So we struck out and our team lost. So someone else got the part in the play we wanted. Is our dwelling on the situation going to change anything? Or would it be better to forget it and move on? A decision can be made at this point for the good, or the bad.
We should be very careful about any decision that relies on our emotions. That isn’t to say that emotions are bad. An emotionless person is a dead person. Emotions are great! Can you imagine a group of cheerleaders with no emotion or a championship victory with no cheering? Enjoy your emotions, but use your brain to make decisions. I’ll give some examples:
· You’re driving down the road with a tailgater on your bumper. Your emotions say. “Get even,” but your emotions don’t tell you justhow far the tailgater would go to retaliate. Your brain says, “Yes it makes me mad, but let it go.” Now which makes more sense? Do you make a decision from your emotions or your brain?
· Someone called you “stupid.” It doesn’t set-well. You would like to call them something worse. Wait a minute! Are you stupid? I didn’t think so. So why not just consider the source, and move on? Its decision time again.
· You made a decision years ago to carry a grudge against someone. They don’t know it but you keep hanging on to it. Tell me, who is the grudge hurting? It isn’t them. They aren’t even aware you have a grudge against them. Looks like you’re the only one left. Could that be why you have high blood pressure and ulcers? So: One more time, who is the grudge hurting? Don’t you need to make a sensible decision?
Have we ever considered how one decision can affect the rest of our lives? It can completely change the course of our lives. I think we’ve seen that in the above examples.
One decision in my life to accept a job transfer has changed so many things in my life that I’ve lost count.
· I have met people I would never have known, otherwise.
· I have had experiences that never would have happened if I hadn’t moved.
· I made a decision in September of 2010 to send an article to Rapture Ready. I had become fed up with what I was seeing happening in the churches. Prior to that I had never written an article. I have met many, many fine people via email because of those articles.
Think about your decisions. This is a relatively short article that could have been quite long, but is it not already clear that the decisions we make can change the course of our lives─for the good or the bad?
The greatest decision any of us could ever make throughout our entire lives concerns our eternal futures: Where am I going to spend eternity? Do I believe in an eternity after death? Do I believe in God? Will I accept what He says?
If you haven’t made a decision about Jesus Christ, you need to do so now. Not only will the remainder of this life be affected, but the remainder of your eternity.