Good Choices

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Today’s Bible Reading: Hebrews 5

Choices—we have a lot of them to make each day. Big ones, small ones, intermediate-sized ones. Some have short-term consequences, and some have long-term consequences.

Today’s reading is Hebrews 5, and in it we hear a lot about choices: to sin or not to sin, to serve God or not, to pray for others or not. The last verse then talks about those who are mature in their faith and able to distinguish between good and evil.

Hebrews 5:14 (NIV)
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

So this got me thinking: How do we distinguish good from evil? How do we make the best choice, or at least a good one?

This was a question that I faced a few weeks ago. Someone had come back into my life after a long absence. I had had previously many bad experiences with this person lying to me more than anyone else I have ever known. There were so many lies and deceptions, I had lost count. So I had decided to remove myself from that situation, as it was unhealthy for me.

Now this person came back to me, asking me for forgiveness and a second chance. They swore that they had changed for good. They told me about changes they had made in their life for the better. I felt that I had to show this person grace by forgiving them for their past behavior and giving them a second chance. So I did.

But after I chose forgiveness, I felt uneasy and unsure whether or not I had made the right choice—or even a good choice. After all, how often does a leopard change its spots? I had decided to give this person another chance with all my heart, but I also prayed a lot on this matter. I asked God to send me signs to let me know whether I had made the right choice. And as God always does, he showed up. He placed this person into three situations, within the short span of a few weeks, where this person had to make a good choice—the right choice. And all three times, they made the wrong choice. They clearly had not changed at all.

I felt very sad and heartbroken, but I also thanked God, because now I knew that I had made the wrong choice by letting this person back into my life. Do I regret giving them another chance? No. Did I remove myself again from this unhealthy situation? Yes. And I now feel absolutely at peace because I listened to God’s guidance to make the right choice in the end.

Have you recently had to make a serious choice in your life?

Did you base your decision only on your free will, or did you pause, pray, and listen for God’s guidance? What happened?

If you did the former, would you consider listening to God’s guidance next time instead of trying to make the choice on your own?

Next Steps:
The next time you have to make a serious choice, or even a smaller one, take the time to pray on it.

Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open and listen to what God would like you to do.

Journal about your experience or discuss it with fellow Christ followers.

Dear Father, thank you for giving me free will, but thank you also so much for being there to watch over me and guide me. Thank you for letting me make the good choice, the right choice, in the end. Thank you for always showing up when I need you the most. Thank you for giving me the strength and wisdom to listen to your guidance. Thank you for the plan you have for my life. Amen.

This post was written by Cordula Mora. Cordula is a neuroscientist who currently works in the Provost office at Bowling Green State University. She was born and raised in Germany, then spent many years living in New Zealand before settling in the US almost 16 years ago. She was raised in a German Protestant church but feels blessed to have been spiritually awakened when she was introduced to CedarCreek Church. She thanks God every day for all the blessings in her life, including two amazing daughters. She is currently looking for someone who would like to serve the Lord with her.

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