A Man’s Choices

One of my favorite memories as a young boy were of helping my grandfather with his garden.    My favorite crop he planted was corn.    It always grew the tallest and it was fascinating to watch the ear mature until it was harvest time.

He planted other things, too, but there was one guarantee after all of the months from planting until harvest was that whatever type of seed we placed into the ground was reproduced.    Tomatoes didn’t come from where we planted the corn nor did soybean come from where we planted tomatoes.    God has written a law into this universe that cannot be violated – the law of sowing and reaping.

In life, this law will either be to your benefit or to your detriment.   It doesn’t matter if you disbelieve it or ignore it, the law will still apply.  No amount of wishing or hoping will change the outcome.    We reap what we have sown.

One of the most practical areas this is proven is through our choices we make.   We live with the sum of our choices every day and determine the quality of our future by the choices we make in the present.   What you are today you have been becoming.   What you will be in the future you are deciding today.

The characteristics of a man of God are given in Psalm 128 and one of them references the law of sowing and reaping – “For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”   (Psalm 128:2)

All choices are not equal.   Some of them at the time seem to be of little consequence, but years down the road they catch up with us.    When you see someone with a quality marriage, family, or personal life you can trace it all back to quality decisions.    Most of them that were made years before.

One of the greatest needs of a man is wisdom to make good choices.   A man of God is a man of wisdom and it is evidenced through his decisions.   The byproduct of wise choices is two-fold:  the Bible says that he will be “happy” and “it shall be well with (him)“.   (Psalm 128:2)

Happiness is not an accident, but the result of making wise choices.   A word I don’t use is “luck”.   Often we attribute it to people that are in reality enjoying the blessings of God.   “Boy, you lucked out in your marriage”.    “You got lucky with the job you have”.    I think in every case where you find happiness someone made a wise decision years earlier.   The law of the harvest caught up with them.

May years ago I was waiting on my sons to finish baseball practice and was sitting behind the backstop in the stands.   Beside me was the wife of the coach and we struck up a conversation about our children.    It was clear that their son had a bad attitude not only toward his parents, but life in general.   He was selfish, stubborn and rebellious.

I had observed the coach tolerating his son’s back talking, negativity, and disobedience.   It was a classic case of “the inmates running the asylum”.    While none of my kids have always obeyed nor have Paula and I always been perfect parents I refused to allow my children to behave wrongly in our home.

The lady made some kind remarks to me about the behavior of my boys and how they were obedient to her husband as he coached them.   I’ll never forget when she looked sideways at me and said, “I wish my son would listen to us”.    She paused a few seconds and then continued, “I guess some parents just luck out with their kids”. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.   The contrast in the behavior and attitude of our children had nothing to do with luck or coincidence.     One was the byproduct of parents that had neglected their responsibility (usually because of laziness or indifference) and the other of parents that had worked hard to see a desired result.   This was the law of the harvest at work.

Another blessing of making wise choices is that “it shall be well with thee” (Psalm 128:2).    The word “well” means “good, pleasurable, prosperous, and beautiful“.     This is God’s favor poured out when we live in alignment with his laws.    Good results come to those that make wise choices.

Wisdom is not the ability to know what is right and wrong.   It is the ability to discern between what is good and best.    It’s a common saying, but it’s so true, “The enemy of the best is the good“.    And it takes wisdom to know the difference between the good and the best.

Theodore Hesburgh wrote, “My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right”.  

Sometimes both decisions are “right”, but one is better than the other.   Andy Stanley has written a book, “The Best Question Ever”.    What is the question?   He states that it is this: “What is the wisest thing to do?”    That is a huge question and will tell on us later, for good or for bad depending on how we applied it in our lives and families.

It’s much easier to know the difference between right and wrong; it’s often difficult to know the difference between the good and the best.    If you make bad decisions you will reap bad consequences.   Good decisions result in good consequences.    The best decisions lead to the best benefits.     A man of God is one that makes wise choices – and one day enjoys the fruit of them. 

I have made some decisions in my life that I wish I could do over.    But I can’t.   That’s what God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness is about.    There is no human being that has ever lived, besides Christ, that has always made perfect decisions.

We must not allow the enemy of our souls to keep us from God’s best by reminding us of our stupid choices.    That’s why Jesus died on a cross for our sins and rose again.   To make it possible for us to be forgiven.   This includes our sinful and stupid choices, some of which have not only hurt us, but others.

Cleansing and removal of the stain of guilt is available for those that would ask Christ to save them – not from the consequences of their actions, but from themselves and the corrupt nature in all of us that drives us to do wrong. 

A believer is enabled through God’s strength to stop making bad decisions.   His grace gives us the desire and the ability to do what He asks us to do.    This includes knowing the difference between the good and the best.

The next time you make a decision in your family remember that you are sowing a seed that will one day come to fruition.   It will influence the quality of life in your marriage and with your children.   Make sure it is a wise choice.     This is a mark of a man of God, growing in his ability to make wise decisions.

An oft-quoted statement by me to our children is “Little things have big consequences”.   I want them to be mindful that the choices they make are not without results.   Today, may you make good choices, even the best choices, as they pertain to your family.   You are sowing seeds for your (and their) future happiness and well-being.

“There is a choice you have to make
in everything you do.
So keep in mind, that in the end,
The choice you make, makes you”. 

(Author Unknown)

One of our favorite places to go as a family - Orange Beach, Alabama.   We have made precious lifelong memories there.   I am so blessed!

One of our favorite places to go as a family – Orange Beach, Alabama. We have made precious lifelong memories there. I am so blessed!

About familyencouragement

Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Married for 41 years with seven children and nine grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Decisions, Family Issues, Father, Forgiveness, Happiness, Marriage, Men, Parenting, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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