When a person smile at us, we smile back. When we bump our head, we say “Ouch” as we rub it with our fingers. A file of laundry, a crying child, a burnt dish for lunch. These are stimuli. Our responses to all sorts of stimuli that confront us every day, may determine the quality of our lives. Do we complain to see a flooded floor, or do choose to respond calmly, by taking it as a challenge on how to clean it fast and easy.
Many people think that circumstances or other people are responsible for the kind of life they have. The reality is that, what we choose to do shapes our lives. We are accountable for the choices we make. Bad choices may seem insignificant, but like tiny trickles of water, they create a dam that can drown us Over time our choices, good or bad, can become habits of the heart. These habits affect our disposition, our behavior and consequently, the quality of our lives.
Here are some considerations so we can have intelligent choices:
Choice # 1. I will choose excellence in what I do.
Ecclesiastes 9:10a “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might…”
We need to do our best even if others may not know it because we strive to please the Lord. We strive to make each day better than yesterday.
Choice #2 I will choose to help people.
Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”
Helping people can disrupt our schedule and makes us inconvenient. Yet, making little sacrifices makes us happier. If we share what we have, we are spreading happiness and multiplying a blessing.
Choice # 3 I will choose to help people be better than to make them happy.
Proverbs 27:5-6 “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
Doing good to people is always the right choice. Yet more often, we are reluctant to correct an erring friend thinking that it may dampen our harmonious relationship. Note that a rebuke of a friend is better than the kiss of an enemy.
Choice #4 I will choose to focus on the present
Philippians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”
“Yesterday ended last night” is a good maxim to follow.
If we dwell on the past, we can’t spot the opportunities coming our way. Opportunities come in many forms and from any direction. If we fail to catch it, they fly away, and we lost our time to shine for the Lord.
Choice # 5:I will choose a relationship over anything.
Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Sometimes issue about money or material things crop up, like borrowed item not returned or is damaged. We are mistaken when we put more importance on the item rather the the person. It is easy to replace material things or to earn unreturned money but it is hard to mend a broken relationship. Choosing relationships is always a good investment.
Unfair division of inherited properties destroys happy relationships. Since they don’t want to forgive, they ended up being enemies for life, all because of a small tract of land.
Choose # 6 I will choose little acts that will bring long term benefits
Pro 6:6 “Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise.”
Rising early to take your morning walk is not so attractive unless we think of its long term benefits. Eating more vegetables, less sugary foods and saying no to soft drinks and junk foods make you feel deprived of the good things in life unless you think of their future benefits. Little acts add up to significant benefits in the long haul. Choose to make small steps to success.
Choice # 7 I will choose what pleases God and I will never go wrong.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you.”
We will never go wrong if we know that what we are doing has the blessing of God. Yet, we can’t choose what pleases God unless we have a closer relationship with Him. Choose to spend more time with the Lord in prayer, Bible study, church attendance, and the things that enrich our relationship with the people of God, like joining fellowship groups. Our hearts are always warmed with love and joy when we do things for the Lord.
Reference: John Maxwell. Leadership Gold.
Haydee Lasco For TBC Women’s Fellowship (May 1, 2020)