The Power to Choose

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There are times when we should focus on finding a solution instead of a meaningless 'bigger picture' because sometimes we do things that are just plain foolish. The word foolishness is not being used here as an insult and I'll explain.

You give a clear instruction to your kids. Do not touch the hot stove, jump on the couch or use the bed like a trampoline. At the same time, you allow them to freely walk around the house where those items are located. One of the kids chooses to disobey the orders and breaks his leg while jumping on the couch. The hurt is real and hopefully he learned a good lesson to grow from the experience. Imagine the kid saying: "my mom made me break my leg to help me learn a good lesson and see the bigger picture of how well she can care for my injuries.

Abraham Inetianbor
When we make bad choices, we quickly reach for excuses that would justify our actions by asking others to look at the "bigger picture" and that God may be behind it all. If the road we took to get somewhere was not in accordance with God's word (Psalm 119:105) then that path was NOT shown to us by God. We were simply fortunate enough that we accepted His strength to help us find the way back to His way. David learned this and found his way back to God (Psalm 51:10-12). Paul, through the Holy Spirit could have commanded Philemon to do whatever Paul wanted but he choose to let Philemon decide voluntarily what course to take. Paul suggested what was best and gave Philemon the opportunity to choose (Philemon 1:8-14). We all have the power to choose between good and evil.

Examples are:
When we make a bad choice and start facing the consequences, we are quick to say that "God knows why..." 
Of course, He does. He is all knowing. He knows where the result(s) of all our past, present and future decisions will end up. This is no reason to put the bad choices we made on Him.

Jesus did not sink Peter in the water to prove a point. Peter's doubt sunk Peter when he looked at the storms around him instead of keeping his eyes on Jesus. When Peter realized his wrong choice of view, he said "Lord save me,"  and Jesus was readily available to give him a hand up.

When "Robin Hood" steals from the rich to feed the poor, it is still called stealing. Some people like to tell others to look at the "bigger picture" as if it should be a justification for the action. The only so called "bigger picture" here is to repent and receive forgiveness. Simply because the act looks or sounded good to us as humans doesn't mean God asked Robin Hood to go steal in order to fulfill God's will of caring for the poor.

Abraham Inetianbor
God has given us clear instructions on how to act and at the same time allows us to be freewill people in a world full of sinful and dangerous things. These are the same things He told us to avoid just like the example of the kids in the home mentioned above. When our defiant disobedient (including physical death from Adam's sin) brings us pain and suffering, it hurts and it hurts bad. Hopefully we learn and grow from each experience. One thing we cannot do is blame or accuse God of causing us to sin so we can "learn a good lesson" from our mistakes (Jame 1:13-15). The lessons to learn have always and will always be there for us to learn in His word. Whenever we are open and ready to learn, we will. It might take one or two misstep(s) to get there but God does not tempt or push anyone to sin to prove a point - period. Even when we do good and are retaliated against for our good deed, it is nothing new because scriptures like John 15:18 and 2 Timothy 3:12 said to expect persecution if you want to live a godly life.

God does work in mysterious ways and this is why He is God. One of those ways is the fact that He makes Himself available to us anywhere, any day and anytime when we are ready to seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). God and His truth is available to us in any path of life that we choose to take. Whatever time we choose to swallow our pride and accept Him is completely up to us. 
- We may choose to do so on the path where we have all the riches of this world - We may choose to do so on the path that involves a death in our family
- We may choose to do so on the path when we survived a fatal car accident and the list goes on.

Abraham InetianborGod disciplines us through His word when that godly sorrow eats us up inside (1 John 3:20) to produce repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). He also disciplines us like a parent would a child. This is when He allows our choices in life to teach us a lesson, which hopefully will make us wiser (Hebrews 12:5-13). Allowing something to happen and manipulating it to happen are two different things. He does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). We have the choice to accept the discipline as correction or guidance, just as we asked for in our prayers OR we can just choose to become a rebellious child and see the discipline as something bad that we do not deserve. We simply need to stop blaming God for everything just to defend a point of view.

The bad or negative events that surrounds us, along with our wrong or irrelevant choices in life simply helps us to understand life on earth. It proves and solidify our faith and conviction because we can look back and easily conclude that God's way is and always will be the ONLY BEST for us. Solomon saw it all and had it all and came to the same conclusion (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Lastly, evil is inevitably in and part of this world since the time of Adam and Eve. Life has its own problems that we as Christians are not immune to and the devil doesn't make it any easier. We are free to choose how best we want to deal with things in life. We can choose to deal with life through God's help or without. When we choose God's way, then He alone has the "BIGGER PICTURE" for us to see. Even when we don't see it, His grace alone is a sure positive to always fall back on like He told Paul (2 Corinthians 12:9). The choice remains ours and His way is always open as long as we live.

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