We all recognize that we have different types of temperaments and personalities. Some of us tend to be analytical and critical. Others are more creative, and some are fun-loving and undisciplined. Whatever our personality, it is usually at the root of the choices we make.
Moral decisions, spiritual decisions, personal decisions, political decisions are among the assortment of choices we make. Since choice is an active expression of our will, with every one we make, it includes a partner that is tied to us. It is known as “responsibility.”
Responsibility is the “hitch in the git-a-long” in the choices we make.
Far too often, we scapegoat and blame others for our choices. As adults, we frequently hold on to choices that blame our parents rather than making a choice to accept their imperfections, forgive them, and move forward in our life journey. Instead, we hold onto them like a “binky” resulting in long-term effects on our physical or mental well-being.
We all make choices, and I am certain we intend to choose what leads to a positive result. But in many instances, there is not always a happy ending. Whether the choice was positive or negative, the responsibility for the action rests with the person who made the choice. Sometimes there are influences from others. Nevertheless, we are the responsible party, and we must deal with the consequences.
In case we forget, the Bible is filled with famous people who made negative choices: Adam and Eve, Abraham, Solomon, Saul, David, Peter, etc. All of whom had to deal with the outcomes of their choices. Some of the consequences were pretty harsh.
In most cases, when choices are made, responsibility is inescapable:
God reminds us that we should trust in Him when we make choices. (Proverbs 3:5-6) He has a life purpose for each of us, and He wants us to have “good success.” (Joshua 1:8) Avoid continually depending upon our human wisdom and secular standards as our tools for making positive choices.
To ensure positive results, acknowledge Him in all you do. If you make a choice that you are not happy with, take responsibility, seek wisdom and guidance from the Lord, and continue forward in your life journey. It will be an exciting trip!
The environment of today provides little opportunity toward instilling hope for a joyful day. It might even provoke a remark like, “There is so much darkness in the world today.” Although I may tend to agree with such a remark, I would do so with an air of caution.
By some intellectual definitions, darkness implies the “absence or near absence of light.” ¹ Others include references to people of color, a depressive or gloomy state, and evil. What darkness is not, is a race of people.
You see, darkness has always been around since the beginning of creation. It is written that “darkness covered the earth.” But the moment God said, “Let there be light,” everything changed. He saw that “the light was good.” For darkness to continue its existence, it was separated from the light. After this separation, there was “day” and “night.”
Throughout history, mankind has faced situations that would be considered dark. Examples are parts of Biblical history, epic battles in American history, wars between countries, racial strife, political contention, disease, and environmental crises. Even books written for children and cartoons have always had their dark scenes.
Today we are bombarded with bleak situations that have an almost eerie-like familiarity with our historical roots. Some of them may seem like new additions. However, they are still the ghosts that existed in the past, perhaps flourishing more now through greater aggressive and technological opportunities for exposure. Despite these dark circumstances, here we are, still breathing, learning, and enjoying.
Among all of the darkness that may exist, there is one critical piece of the life story you will not want to overlook. God created the light from darkness by speaking it into existence. There was only one source, but once God separated the light from the darkness, there was day and night. God created independent existence once he separated the darkness from light.
Within each of us, the power exists to switch on the light that God said was “good.” We are an independent source that does not have to be controlled by the darkness. The Bible defines those who know the Lord as “the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
Earlier, I mentioned I might agree with a particular remark with caution concerning darkness. This is because I remember that part of my light source is my tongue. “The tongue has the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21). God spoke light into existence. Be careful to speak life and light when you encounter darkness.
Instead of being a prisoner to the various negative outlets (smartphones, television, print media, journalism, etc.), let the light within you rule. Inspirational books and music, inspiring stories, and your smile are a few of your offensive and defensive moves against darkness.
As is the case with many personal things in life, we must take individual responsibility for bringing our light into the circumstances to squash the darkness.
Occasionally, the news will carry an article on the worth of certain people. In most cases, that worth is associated with the amount of money or possessions owned by individuals. The size of the bank account, real estate investments, size and profitability of a business, jewelry, vehicles and other valuables are some of the items used to calculate worth.
There are two factors involved in calculating wealth: assets and liabilities. Assets are significant things you own or possess, whereas liabilities are classified as debts or things you may owe.
When you calculate your self-worth using this type of balance sheet, it is like hiding in the false bottom of a suitcase. No one knows you are there. Far too often, we assign a very low value to ourselves because we are influenced by this asset/liability accounting of worth.
One of the most striking examples of why we should never consider our worth based on tangible things is found within the bee colonies. We often use the term “worker bees” to define those who may be considered less important than someone in a higher position. Here is the reality check for determining worth from the Book of Bees.
In a bee colony, the worker bee rules. They are female and control most of what goes on inside the hive: housekeeping, feeding the queen, drones, and larvae, making the wax, and much more. She even becomes the undertaker when bees die. On the other hand, you have the drones whose only job is to mate with an unfertilized queen. Finally, there is the honeybee queen. She is considered the single most important bee in a colony since the entire bee colony population comes from the queen. Despite her importance, it would be almost impossible to assign a worth to any one of these bee positions since they are all necessary to produce the hive. ¹
Each of us has worth, each of us has value, each of us is here in this three-dimensional world for a purpose. Money is a thing, possessions whatever they are and regardless of the value assigned to them, remain only things. True worth is based on your inner person. Excellence of character includes honesty and truthfulness, respect, gentleness, and unfailing kindness, which in God’s sight is of “great worth.” (I Peter 3:4)
I cannot help but reflect on what the outcomes might have been if today’s balance sheet standards had judged the following:
It is worth asking yourself: If you had to choose between being very wealthy or living a long healthy life, which would you choose? The parable of the rich fool also contains a warning: “Your life is going to end tonight. Now who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:20)
Make a commitment not to judge your worth by the world’s balance sheet. Remind yourself that God determines your worth. An abundance of possessions does not calculate your value to Him—He looks at your heart.
¹ en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Worker_bee