Making the Right Choices

Do you ever say things to yourself to excuse your own poor choices or behavior? Like “I want it.” “I need it.” “It’s really not that bad.” “I’ll do better tomorrow.”

Well I do.

You see, I have trouble making good decisions for myself sometimes.  I will know I’m not supposed to eat that but I do anyway. I will know I need to do chores now, but I’ll play games on my phone or binge watch tv instead.  I will want to spend a nice evening with my husband, but I spend half the time on social media instead of being present with him.

These types of poor daily decisions make me feel guilty sometimes.  It’s not so much a sense of right or wrong, but it is a feeling that I have let God and myself down. I made another choice based purely on my own desires. I let the lesser “me” take control.

What about you? Do you ever scroll through Instagram rather than play with your kids or talk to your husband? Do you ever stay home alone to eat that food you are hiding so you can try to fill that hole in your heart instead of going to God to fill it? Do you ever shop for something new to wear or to put in your home to lift your spirits even though you know you don’t need it? Do you ever watch “The Bachelor” or read a steamy novel rather than work to revive the romance in your marriage?

What IS that?

Unfortunately, it’s our human nature.

When we accepted Christ, we became a new person. (2 Cor. 5:17) We are no longer slaves to sin but live in the freedom of God’s grace. (Rom. 6:14) However, as fleshly beings we still seek satisfaction in worldly things. We want to believe we have enough self-control and willpower that we could do the right thing if we really wanted to.

But what we want to do and what we end up doing can be completely opposite. Paul talks about this conundrum in Romans 7:14-25. He talks about doing what he doesn’t want to, and not doing what he wants to. He sounds frustrated. Me too!

Is it possible that God wants us to realize we can’t live the life He wants for us on our own?

We are always in need of Him. Not just to keep from committing the Bible’s Top Ten sins but in the little day-to-day choices we make that can set us up to fall short of God’s standard for us. (Rom. 3:23)

You know that little twinge we get when we know we shouldn’t be doing something, or when we should be doing something? Some call that conscience, but as Christians we know that is the Holy Spirit.  I want to be more aware of that nudge in my heart, and hopefully start making better decisions in the little things as well as the big things.

Paul concludes that he is a wretched man, but in the last verse of Romans 7 he knows Christ is the answer to his dilemma.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  Romans 7:24-25a

God is so very gracious to reassure us of His love and acceptance even when we mess up. Only when we realize how incapable we are of living a righteous life on our own, can we see that our greatest need is for the Savior. God is still working on us and will be until the day we meet Him face to face.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.      Romans 3:23-24

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