About a year ago, I was on my way to a gospel meeting in a community where I had never been, so I decided to leave the house a lot sooner than was probably necessary; but I made the decision because I didn’t want to be late and walk into the building after the service had already begun. As I came to a stop before turning onto the major highway leading to my destination, I felt an impact to the rear of my car that literally jarred my teeth and sent a shooting pain throughout my body. While I had come to a stop, the person behind me didn’t, and as a result, I was the victim of a rear-end collision. One of the things that crossed my mind after the accident was the question, “Would this have happened if I hadn’t made the decision to leave the house as early as I did?
I had the fact reinforced that day that every decision, no matter how insignificant it may appear at the moment, can and does have some type of consequence! For this reason we don’t dare make rash, unreasoned, careless choices, or allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking that a decision made today won’t come back to bless or curse us tomorrow! This is especially true regarding our relationship with the Father and Son, and it’s unfortunate that many mirror the attitude of some from the past who refused to believe that such a relationship had to be guarded and cherished. The rich man of Matthew 19 was convinced that choosing wealth offered more security than humbly following the Master. The multitude spoken of in John 6:66 blatantly made their decision to turn their backs on the Bread of Life, and instead believed the spiritual starvation offered by the world was preferable. Felix, though he knew the truth Paul declared about Jesus was undeniable, still decided to reject the words of hope, thinking that he would either have a “more convenient time” to properly respond or that a bribe would be paid him to effect Paul’s release (Acts 24:22-27). In each of these examples, we see individuals making spiritually fatal decisions that have since placed their souls in the agony of Tartarus, alongside the rich man of Luke 16:19-25. Oh yes, decisions have consequences!
When it comes to our own decision-making in the spiritual realm, are there guidelines we can appeal to which can assist us in making the right choices for our lives and souls? First, we should continually consult THE Book that provides us with the best advice regarding all the things “pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). The Bible can make us complete and equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16,17), and its advice, if faithfully heeded, can help us avoid the calamities associated with making foolish choices (Prov. 2:1-4:7). Second, we should earnestly and
faithfully pray before we attempt to settle a matter and then act upon the decision. If we pray according to the Lord’s will (cf, I Jn. 5:14) and do so with humility (Jms. 4:6-10; 1 Pet. 5:4-7), then we can be sure He will providentially assist us in making the right decision concerning a matter placed before us. Third, if we will avoid those people, attitudes, and situations that can cloud an issue or even warp our thinking and prayers, then we will be in a stronger position to make godly decisions. If we refuse to collaborate with, consult, or even listen to the voices of the wrong crowd (1 Cor. 15:33), then we won’t run the risk of making detrimental choices, we’ll make up our minds to avoid the very appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:21,22), and we won’t be swayed to pursue an adverse avenue of action. If we meditate upon he positive attributes spoken of in Philippians 4:8, then it stands to reason that our minds will be clear as to what is right and good. We are emboldened to stave off the temptation to make the easy, convenient, expedient decision which can only make matters worse down the road.