CLERGY VIEW: Choices in life
Throughout time, people have needed to make choices. Our lives are full of decisions every day. Some choices may be good, but some may not be very good. Lifestyles and behaviors are the result of choices made. Our choices often are influenced by those around us and in our society. As time moves forward, people’s values may change.
Today’s society has experienced many changes, with some changes having effects throughout the world. Marriage, for example, was once understood to be a permanent union between man and woman, who were joined together by God’s Word, “until death do you part.” Throughout all generations, marriage has been, and still is, the basis of a family unit, and its main task is to continue bringing children into this world. However, there are those who have separated through divorce, annulments, dissolutions, and the like. This is the result of the hardness of their hearts and unbelief in God’s Word. Also, many today actually live together in cohabitation, or out of wedlock. Life is full of choices.
Our society is witnessing open behavior of alternate lifestyles. Partners in same sex unions strive for recognition and acceptance, and expect others to be tolerant of their way of life in the name of having love and compassion towards one’s neighbor. However, according to the Bible, homosexual behavior is sin. The homosexual inclination itself is not sin, but choosing to live in that manner is. It is said that the Old Testament believer, Lot, was vexed in spirit over the same sins of his time. Life is full of choices.
Another area of choices involves using drugs and alcohol. Some people are promoting the legalization of drug use. Drugs are addicting and affect our decisions and minds. Drugs are said to destroy brain cells and have negative effects on the entire body. Alcohol, which is also a drug, is widely used and is the cause of many difficulties and sorrows. When the Old Testament believer, Hannah, was once assumed to be drunk with wine, she replied: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink…count me not as a daughter of Belial. (1 Sam. 1:15) Apostle Paul writes in his epistles that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God. Life is full of choices.
Moses, in the land of Egypt, was also faced with making many choices. The Bible concludes that ... he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. (Heb. 11)
Joshua’s farewell address to the children of Israel left them with a choice: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served….or the gods of the Amorites……but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Jesus encouraged his listeners to the best choice: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness….” (Mt. 6:33) Therein is found grace and truth — grace to believe your own sins forgiven through the redemption work of Jesus Christ, which then causes a desire to walk in newness of life and obedience of faith. In this life, we have choices to make.