There is always a choice
We had a Bible study today and, oh, it was beautiful. There is one thing, one habit I have come to love about the Baptist Church, the habit of having bible studies where everyone questions, ponders, opposes, and proposes analyses and interprets every verse, every book, and every chapter according to how he understands it, and how God has revealed the word to him or her.
While we do not question the pastor's words or interpretation during service, we do so and a lot during Bible studies. Today's Bible study was from the book of Philippians 2:3-11. And we noted something about Jesus attitude on verse five. Yes, the whole chapter seems to be about humility and one way of achieving humility was or is to have the attitude of Jesus Christ, but then what is that attitude? Verse 5 answered us, “You must think and act like Christ Jesus" (Devotional Bible, Max Lucado)One of our members explained that when something MUST be done, it simply means no other options or choices are available. Yes, he is right; when God says we must do something, then there are no alternatives. But I kept wondering, does our freedom to choose die with that? Were my convictions in my article, predestination and man's free will, false and out of context? God revealed me something more. Read on
In John 3:3, Jesus emphasizes that unless one is born again, he cannot be in God's kingdom. Literally, it means there are no other choices, but it actually is not like that. Even when we look at the Ten Commandments, they all start with, "You must... ", but does that mean there is no choice?
Personally, I do not think there is such a thing as no choice, only that every choice has a cost or consequences. In other words, when the Bible asks to be born again so we can be among the dwellers of the kingdom, it is simply giving us another choice of not accepting and then leaving the Kingdom. Yes, someone will argue that choices are real if those other alternatives give us the same results. And I want to insist that a choice is not the same other alternative. Alternatives are simply other means of getting the same result, while choices are selections of paths to different destinations or results. So yes, some situations offer us no alternatives, but there is no situation that offers us no choice. There is always a choice but if we cannot handle the cost, then we feel like we had none.
Back to our verse, we must have the attitude of Christ Jesus or else we lose the virtue of humility. Other alternatives do not exist in this case, buy choices are many. We can decide not to think or act like Jesus but imitate Buddha. Yes, we can decide to live it altogether and live our lives of pride and self glorification. Those are all choices. Look around, what exactly has compressed you so much? Are there no choices or you are simply not willing to pay the price?
In the name of God, there are always choices; choices to die for our cause or save our lives for damnation, choices to reject the grace of God or accept it for our good, choices to run away from a seducing woman in the bar or fall for her and have the fun and the results, choices to apply and study from school that have no difference from hell or stop it and miss the course. Yes, there is always a choice, but the cost of each choice is a big determinant.
What is the point? God is not denying us choice when he sets his condition for his Kingdom; he is simply saying that choosing otherwise means the loss of the promises or results. When God says that we must believe in Jesus to get saved, he is not dictating on our choices, but simply telling us that doing otherwise will make us candidates for other results of pay but not his kingdom.
Yes, when a situation presses us to the wall, we are never left with no choice, but the cost of each choice matters a lot. And finally, I think the wisdom of identifying where the cost is less, the rewards are great, is the only prayer that every individual should be raising up. Once we have the wisdom and power to make right choices and firmly stand for their consequences, then we are men. There is always a choice, help me make my choices today oh Lord.
Thanks and God bless you
The Complete You Ministry, www.nemvicx.blogspot.com