“Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Prov. 8: 10,11)
Decades ago I heard a man preach on this subject and never forgot it. The older I get, the more I see its truth: “Life is not determined by your wants but by the choices you make.” Practice using wisdom rather than raw emotion or knee-jerk reaction. Let that sink in. Think about it. Ponder it.
You can’t have all you want, so you are going to have to make some choices. You live with the results of those choices. Is it always necessary to go through the “School of Hard Knocks” to teach us what should have been fairly obvious?
- Life-style: Are you going to run with the crowd that is characterized by activities that are spiritually and sociably on the risky side or are you going to use good common sense and be more conservative? Will you choose to avoid the things you are fairly certain will not please God? The results of those choices can be dramatically different.
- Marriage: I don’t care to count the people I know who obviously selected the wrong partner for life. Red lights were blinking but emotions trumped good judgement. If a person will not change during courtship, when each is trying to please the other, what makes you think marriage will change things? They’re living with the rather predictable results. But who had the courage to point out to that person what others we seeing but one of them was missing? Would that person have listened or told you to mind your own business? Emotion without insight is deadly.
- Vocation: How many people do you know who are employed below their potential or are just putting in time to make a living because they didn’t complete an education, or they failed to follow their dream, or they quit at just the wrong time, etc.? This has them stuck in a daily, boring routine rather than enjoying their livelihood. How many people chose to make more money than to serve God at lesser income missing the joy of fulfilling employment for a few more dollars?
- Possessions: How many things do you need before you are satisfied? Just a few more? Meanwhile other things in your life suffer…perhaps because you have to work multiple jobs to support your lifestyle…or you are so deep in credit card debt that just interest payments are consuming your digressionary income? Your greed or lack of patience has caused you to lose a lot of what you really could have because you are paying interest instead of buying real value. Regardless of your level of income, are you giving God His fair share? You can’t out-give God. You are paying the consequences of your choices.
- Eternal future: You’re thinking, I’m a good person. God is love. I’m better than (fill in the blank). But the result is not based on your opinion. The qualification is not in comparison to others. The Bible clearly says there is only one way and that is through Jesus. (John 14:6) Any other option leads to eternal death.
Written By Neil Fichthorn: Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.