A Matter of Choice

God made man a free moral agent. We are creatures of choice. We have the right and the power to choose day to day activities. This power of choice is expressed in the Bible over and over. Both Moses (Deut. 30:19) and Joshua (24:15) put choices before Israel. But the choices they followed had consequences. They would likely make the choice that suited their own desires at the time, that would best serve their interests. But the choice would set in order chains of events that would not be to their liking.

Today we choose each day the kind of life we want to live, the rule of ethics to govern us, the people we wish to associate with. We usually do this out of selfish concern. But when we do, we also set in order chains of events that bring about end products that we may not like. The social drinker does not choose to be an alcoholic, to lose his job, family and friends, nor to have a damaged liver, but all too often that is what he gets. The criminal does not choose to go to jail when he robs or kills, but that's where he winds up.

When the prodigal son left home to enjoy spending his inheritance, he did not intend to end up in the hog pen, starving and friendless, but it was inevitable with that choice he made. Lot chose to pitch his tent toward Sodom because of the personal advantages it held for him and his family. He did not intend to choose to end up on a mountain having sons born by acts of incest with his own daughters. He did not intend to lose his wife and all his possessions in the destruction of Sodom. But all this he did, because "he pitched his tent toward Sodom" (Gen. 13:12).

We do not intend to lose our children when we become too deeply involved in economic and social affairs to love, train and mature them, but that's the end product of the choice. We do not intend to have delinquent, rebellious children when we chose not to discipline them, to teach them respect for God, parents and others.

No one chooses divorce from the beginning, it is a hard, heart rending experience. But that's the end product of self-centered neglect. We all want happy occasions with exciting mates but in our day to day choices we ourselves are not contributing to that end. We blame others when we are at fault. We made choices long ago that resulted in the end product. We like to sow but we don't like to reap.