We All Have Choices
I had a professor in Bible College who is fun of quotable quotes. I have mentioned him both in the series and in other posts as well. Mr. S used to say “if you limit yourself to an either or decision you haven’t considered all the options. ” AND I agree with him except this one thing : Your choice (decision) to be a positive or negative influence. When we started this week I said ” Positive or Negative that is the question” And I am here to tell you those are YOUR ONLY TWO OPTIONS and only you hold the power to make it.
You might say, “BUT MARY…you don’t understand….” Well let’s save the BUTS for next week when I tell you what my friend Marie has to say about BUTS! It won’t disappoint!!
I can tell you right now there are a few things we don’t get to choose.
- our circumstances
- our genetics/ family
- other peoples choices
- the weather
No matter what happens in those 4 things listed above there are 3 things we can choose when dealing with this four areas…..
Choice #1- Our Attitude
No matter the circumstance we can choose to look at life through God lenses . I love the book and movie Pollyanna. In one scene when Pollyanna was talking about the missionary barrels her family used to get (they were missionaries). She is talking about how she wanted a doll so they requested one and when the next missionary barrels came there was no doll but instead a pair of crutches. At this point she was explaining that her father made up the “glad game”. They, from that point on, would try to find the positive in the hard things. They were actively choosing to look on the bright side. And the bright side of the crutches? Was that she didn’t need them.!!
Later in the movie she falls from a Tree and suffers a spinal injury (in the book she gets hit by a car). She become paralyzed. All of her friends rally around her to help her find the good when she can’t. Like Steak and Ice Cream!!!! Being positive was going to help her face and recover from surgery.
When we actively choose to have a positive attitude it turns into positive influence. People see the hard stuff and see you grow and trust God. Positive attitudes rooted in God’s word is sustainable. I’m not saying that there aren’t days that things get really hard and I am by no means telling you to be fake – we will deal with that one next week!
Be real, be transparent, be honest about where you are at BUT choose to look for God in the middle of it. POINT people to that. Find things to be grateful for in the middle of the hard things!
#2- Our Words
Some days we just need to take a stand. We need to speak up. Staying silent is a choice too.
I don’t wear my disability on my sleeve. Most people have no idea I have been legally blind for over half of my life. I am what you called a “sighted blind person”. It means I have partial sight. This plays a HUGE part in my testimony and usually when the topic arises I have the opportunity to share my story.
One day I was mentoring a client at the pregnancy center I volunteer at every week. It was rather early on in my experience there. I was warned ahead of time that this client was closed to talking about faith, no worries . She was my first client and I was NERVOUS!
I introduced myself and we started into the first lesson. Something came up in conversation and I shared that I had been legally blind since I was 13…and the door for the gospel flung wide open. I could feel it, and I just kept reading the lesson.
I walked away determined that I was NEVER gonna miss THAT opportunity again. I was heart broken. I told Marie. She said it was ok everyone misses moments but that I would remember it and chances are I wouldn’t miss another. She was right (I think) It’s been 3 years and lots of clients later and I have had lots of opportunities and I have taken all of them that I am aware of.
My unwillingness to speak the words of hope I experienced through the years after losing my eyesight was what this young mom needed and I chose to keep silent. NO one made me, I made that choice…me alone.
There is also a second and third aspect to our words. and that is how we say them. When anger, malice, complaining sarcasm, hate, snakiness and so on is what frequents out of our moths we gain a reputation of being grumpy. So is when we say one thing and DO another (HINT that might be the next point) I will touch more on that third one this next week.
Our words play an important part of what kind of influence we have.
#3 Our actions
Have you ever heard a child say BUT so and so taught me how.
My question is: does so and so control your hands and feet?
The answer plain and simple is NO, they made a choice to follow the negative influence of another person. NO one made them. Even if you are at gun point you can still make a right choice. I think of children who have been kidnapped who choose to sing songs they were taught in Sunday school or women who shared the gospel with their captors. They made a choice. Some have seen direct results while others may have had their lives taken. Either way they knew what they shared was what the person needed.
To choose to serve, to love, to care despite the differences in those around us. Doing things that LOOK CRAZY to everyone else. (Remember that attribute of Esther?)
Our actions will always speak louder than our words! ALWAYS.
And you wanna know who will be there first to let you know when they don’t line up? KIDS- they can spot a hypocrite a mile away and they will let you know too.
We are going to spend some time hashing that out as well next week
And I’m just gonna throw this out there when I was a kid there was this phrase being thrown around “The Devil made me do it”. It was a cop out answer in hopes that the other person was gullible enough to not hold you accountable. I can tell you right now the devil did NOT make you do it.
It was our choices and we chose to do it!