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Little things are sometimes more important than they appear. What seems today like a slight indiscretion may tomorrow turn out to have great consequences — particularly when all of our “little” choices begin to stick to one another and the “snowball effect” sets in. The plain truth is, choices are the stuff out of which life is made. We are what we are today because of the accumulation of all the choices we have made in the past. Every time we stood at a fork in the road and chose one path instead of the other, we set in motion a chain of events that has helped shape the total situation in which we find ourselves right now. The choices we made yesterday have made our lives today either easier or harder.

Choices are often more important than we’re willing to admit at the time we make them. And our lives as God’s people would be greatly enhanced if we would take a more responsible attitude toward our decisions. It doesn’t do any good to argue that God gave us a free will if we do not use that freedom wisely in the making of our own choices.

When a person describes what he thinks his problems are, he makes a powerful comment on his character. For example, if a person dwells mainly on things for which he denies any responsibility, we will know something about his view of life. But if he tends to be more concerned about matters in which he himself could be doing better, then we will make a somewhat different judgment about his character. With some folks, everything bad that happens is always the fault of someone else. Others, however, are more willing to accept responsibility for their lot in life. So as Christians, what about our own character? Do we take responsibility for our choices and focus on the things we are actually able to do something about?

This week, let’s consider that, although people’s external circumstances differ drastically, the thing that truly separates the wise from the foolish — and the godly from the ungodly — is what we choose to do with our circumstances. Our eternal destiny will depend on what we did when we were called upon to make choices in the midst of difficult circumstances. Do we realize the importance of our choices? Are we willing to take responsibility for them? And most important: are we ready to begin making better choices?

Monday: Genesis 1:26–31

Key Idea: God made us able to choose between good and evil.

Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean that we are made in the “image” and “likeness” of God? How does our freedom of will set us apart from the animals? What is sin, and why is it not possible for an animal to sin?

Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:26,27.

Tuesday: Joshua 24:1–28

Key Idea: God wants us to choose what is right.

Questions for Family Growth: In v.15, what choice did Joshua call upon the people to make, and which path did he say his own family would choose? Does it make any difference to God which choice we make? What does Jn. 3:16,17 say about God’s love for us?

Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:28.

Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 10:12,13

Key Idea: On any occasion when we have sinned, we could have chosen otherwise.

Questions for Family Growth: What is “temptation”? Do we ever have to say yes to temptation? If we do something we should not do, whose fault is it? Will God help us with our problems if we blame them on others?

Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:29.

Thursday: 1 Samuel 15:1–23

Key Idea: When we make bad choices, God does not want us to make excuses.

Questions for Family Growth: When Saul disobeyed God, what excuse did he make in vv.20,21? Did God accept Saul’s excuse? Today, what are some excuses we sometimes use to avoid blame for the bad things we have done?

Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 23:1–3.

Friday: Luke 16:19–31

Key Idea: The lost will be lost because they chose to be.

Questions for Family Growth: Does it seem that Lazarus felt sorry for himself because he had it rough in life? Who was to blame for the problems the rich man had? Did the rich man go to hell by necessity or by choice?

Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 23:4,5.

Gary Henry — +

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