Saturday, February 13, 2010

Decisions, Decisions, again

A seventh-grader who visited our Sunday School class said it was a dare. We were dared as children, too. “Betcha can’t …” jump that fence; climb that tree, swing that high? What were the dares we faced as young teens. The dare to her was to have sex. Her baby was due in January.

How can we tell which decisions will be life altering? Hindsight is good. We can look back and say “Wow, when I did that it changed everything!” Doesn’t help in making a decision today, though.

Marriage, career, home – life altering decisions. Too often we don’t research or plan for them. People marry with the idea that if it doesn’t work, they’ll split, if they marry at all. Careers are based on what jobs are open when one is looking. Homes are based on what is desired instead of what can be paid for. Life altering decisions, made on a single day’s values.

Isaac’s sons provide such an example. As the first-born, Esau was in line to inherit. He had the birth right to his father’s material goods, and was his father’s favorite.

And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Genesis 25:28 KJV)

Always a problem in families, this making of favorites. Jacob wanted what Esau had, and found a way to achieve it. Esau made a decision based on momentary hunger that changed lives forever.

And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:31-34 KJV)

Do any of our decisions appear as foolish? Are we living today with decisions made earlier that we thought were unimportant? Ones that had consequences we really knew, but ignored?

Are we as spiritually shortsighted? Do we ignore eternal implications for pleasures that last a short time? Are our decisions based on self and now rather than God and eternity? Which decision would you rather live with ten years down the road?

Instant gratification has become the order of the day. “If it feels good, do it” has been shortened to “Just do it.”

Consider just one regretted decision for a moment. Was it based on an immediate want? How would you change it now?

Regrettably, we don’t get ‘do overs’ that clears consequences they way God clears our sins. We must live through the consequences of decisions based on temporal desires. Some of those consequences are long term. Satan can work with them to keep us separated from God if we allow him to do so.

That decision is up to us. Accept God’s cleansing of our sins. We all have them, you know.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9 KJV)

For we have heard the truth.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1 John 2:17 KJV)

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