Friday, March 12, 2010

Your Crucial Choices have Already Been Determined

Since my last post I’ve been thinking just why we keep doing the things that we don’t want to do even though we know we shouldn’t. Sometime this week I was reminded of a quote from one of our former Presidents, Ronald Reagan. The quote is actually taken out of a speech he gave at The Citadel’s 1993 Graduation Ceremony (http://externalaffairs.citadel.edu/reagan). Setting all political agendas aside it is a great speech. Here is the quote:

“For you see, the character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined. It has been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the little choices of years past—by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation—whispering the lie that it really doesn't matter. It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away—the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness, habits of self-sacrifice or of self-indulgence, habits of duty and honor and integrity—or dishonor and shame. Because when life does get tough, and the crisis is undeniably at hand—when we must, in an instant look inward for strength of character to see us through—we will find nothing inside ourselves that we have not already put there.”
Why do we keep doing the things I don’t want to do? Well we’ve taught ourselves to do them with all of the small choices we’ve made. We’ve developed a life full of laziness and zero self-discipline. When times get hard and the pressure is bearing down, we simply lack the history of making the right choices. In my mind, it absurd to actually think you can go against your nature and make the right choice at the moments of your choosing. I tend to think that these moments are where I am called to glorify God. Yet that goes against what we’ve been commanded to do. 1 Cor 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. It’s not just the big things such as what should my next job be, what school should the kids attend, what church should we join, etc. We must consider all aspects of our lives as areas to obey and glorify God.

Once we get to the point where we understand that the smaller choices are just as important as the bigger ones we will have set ourselves up for future success. The habit of obeying God in all aspects of our lives will enable us to obey God is the times of true temptation and pressure. It’s honoring God in the small things that builds the habit of maintaining the right focus and self discipline that proves invaluable in honoring God in the big things.

One step at a time,
Pritch

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