There have been several times throughout my life when I’ve had to make a choice that isn’t between right or wrong. Sometimes it isn’t even between better and best. It’s just a choice. But the choice could have long-lasting implications and it’s very important.
Several of these choices were regarding the education of our children. Should we homeschool? Or should we send them to Christian school? This was a question we faced several different times throughout this time period of our lives. When we looked at what scripture has to say about raising children, both of these were equally good options. And yet, what we chose could (and did) have eternal ramifications. I’ll share about those eternal ramifications at the end of this post. There are always possible risks and rewards involved in any choice we make for ourselves and for our kids.
This is just one example of this type of choice. There are so many others, aren’t there? Young people wonder: What career should I choose? Which college should I attend? Should I even attend college? Parents wonder: How much junk food should I allow my child to eat? Should our child play soccer or take music lessons or perhaps do both? Should we allow our new driver to drive an hour away to a friend’s house? Should we allow our teen to go on a foreign mission trip? We grown-ups wonder: Should we move? Should we take that job? Should we buy that car? Should we complete that house project or take that trip we always wanted to take?
These are not innately moral choices. People can make any number of choices and they aren’t, in essence, right or wrong. So how do we make a choice when there isn’t a “right” answer? Are there any principles to follow?
There sure are! Let’s look in the Word.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
We should ask God for wisdom. God loves us and He knows exactly the quandary we are in. We must ask Him–what is the wisest choice in this situation? And then we must have faith that He will answer! I have found the answers often come in the most unusual of ways so that there is little doubt that God has orchestrated it.
I Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
We should examine the situation to determine which choice will most likely help and edify us. Will one of these choices potentially draw us closer to Christ than the other? Not all things edify. This question doesn’t apply in all of these non-moral choices, but it’s an important question to ask when it does, because it can bring an amazing amount of clarity.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.
Seek wise counsel. Talk to someone who has had to make a similar decision. Discuss possible ramifications with someone who genuinely cares about you and has more life experience than you do.
Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Ignore the naysayers and cynics. Everyone has an opinion about everything these days. People we hardly know will offer their strong opinion about what they think we should do. But we must remember that we are seeking to please God with our lives and choices. We cannot and will never be able to please everybody. No matter what choice you make, there will be someone who disagrees or is disappointed.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Don’t be anxious. God will work it all out in His timing and according to His plan. We can experience peace through these perplexing decisions if we let our requests be made known to God with a thankful heart. This is a promise of scripture that we shouldn’t take lightly. Read those verses again. Peace, which surpasses all understanding, can be ours, no matter what the situation, by simply telling the Father.
I John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Be ready and willing to follow God’s will, no matter what the answer. If He closes a door, don’t try to manipulate the situation to wrangle the door back open. If He makes it clear you are to go one direction, don’t try to finagle yourself out of the obvious and go the opposite way.
Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
The one thing we can be sure of is that God knows the decision we make before we even make it. We will never surprise Him and we certainly are unable to make any decision that God can’t use in our lives for His glory and our good. Isn’t that such a comforting thought?
So if you are facing a decision today that has you a bit stumped, I hope these principles, drawn from the timeless and ever-applicable Word of God, will be a blessing to you. I hope they not only have comforted you but that they have given you some ideas about how to go about making your decision.
Life can be so confusing sometimes, can’t it? And, yet, we can see how God works all things out. Earlier in this post I mentioned the eternal ramifications of the choices we made regarding education. After much prayer and deliberation, we made the decision to send our two middle kids to Christian school for high school. There they both started dating young people who would eventually become their spouses. We have two beautiful granddaughters that would not be in existence had we chosen to keep our kids at home. Oh, each of those kids might be married to someone else and have different children–but those specific two souls would not exist. In this case we experienced a wonderful reward for the choice we made. God used this choice to lead our kids to godly spouses.
Of course, hind sight is always 20/20. We had no idea that this would happen when we made that choice. These are things we cannot see or know. And so we follow our heavenly Father onward, as best we can, praying for guidance and direction all the while. Humbly seeking wise counsel, while ignoring those who just like to share their opinions. And casting aside our anxiety, we choose to trust. Trust that God will make His will clear in His time and according to His plan.