• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Choose Wisely

This summer Mike and I were anchored off of Masonboro Island enjoying the water. As my family and friends will tell you I want to stay all day. I am never ready to leave. I was so annoyed when Mike said, "Jill, it looks like a storm might be coming. Do you want to leave?" He knew the answer. "No, I want to stay a little longer." I was so proud of myself when I finally suggested we leave prior to the storm. But, quicker than we thought, the storm caught us on the way home. The kind of rain that the huge raindrops sting when they hit. The kind of rain that hits you in the eyes, making it hard to see the waterway! I had not chosen wisely! My choices had consequences!

Various internet sources estimate that an adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions every day. That is a lot of decision making! There are the things we don't give much thought to like that it is time to get out of bed, we are going to brush our teeth, we are going to shower, we are going to work or school, we are going to eat, we are going to feed our pets, we are going to go to bed, etc. Then there are the bigger decisions like our career, school, picking a mate, purchases, investments, friendships, worship, etc. What does the Bible tell us about decisions? Choose wisely.

Our choices have consequences so when we choose wisely our circumstances tend to be more positive and healthier. Proverbs 13: 20, "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm."Proverbs 27: 17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." God even cautions us to select our friends wisely.

At times I find myself trying to discern whether my choices are coming from my voice or God. I can always differentiate when I go to Philippians 4: 8. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." When I follow God's lead, my choices bring positive circumstances. Every time! In every aspect of my life. The more we do this the more we learn what is right and good. Job 34: 4, "Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good."

Even in our thoughts we have choices to make. We can choose to think negatively or positively. We need to choose to be positive and have joy, placing our hope and faith in God for our future. Each day I try to choose joy and to feel blessed and grateful. During these uncertain times in our world, I think we all need to choose joy and place our faith in God! Romans 8: 5-6, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death,but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace." When we live according to the flesh we have lost focus on God and we will not experience peace or joy. When we are focused on God we will have peace and joy. I think of the negative news that is on television and social media constantly and how it can bring me down so fast. I do not have to go to Philippians 4: 8, I know what is right but I still find myself making the wrong choice. I choose not to spend my time in negativity. I choose to surround myself by people who are a good influence on me and me on them.

God tells us to ask Him which path is right. Jeremiah 6: 16, "This is what the Lord says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'" When you find yourselves standing at the crossroads, choose wisely!


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