Life flows through a series of decisions.
It would be nice if we could sit back and analyze those decisions: Find the good and do it and avoid the evil, and everything would work out well for us that way. But we learn quickly as adults that not everything works that way.
Some decisions are morally good that lead to discomfort or even great harm. In those cases, we find the courage to do what is right if we believe in truth. Come what may, we like to think we will do what is good and just.
Other decisions are clearly morally evil even though they promise to lead to gain and pleasure. The strength to resist only comes from the decision to believe and follow moral goodness and a reliance upon God to provide that way of escape He promised us in times of temptation.
But have you noticed that many (if not most) of our day-to-day decisions are neither morally good nor morally evil?
Morality vs Spirituality
Which is the morally good option when you are choosing to wash a load of whites or darks?
To turn left or right?
To eat a salad or skip it?
Most of the decisions we make are not moral ones at all. We obviously know that yet how often we confuse MORAL with SPIRITUAL. I may not make a moral decision by deciding whether to turn right or left at a stop light, but it may be a spiritual choice. When we learn this “secret” we will see life much differently, and we will grow more than we thought possible! That’s because all decisions have consequences. We need to start choosing the consequence that will help us grow spiritually.
At any given moment, you have the ability to use your circumstances to grow spiritually by making spiritual decisions.
The heart of this idea is found in the book of James, chapter 1. This section teaches us the nature of sin and why it is we continue to find ourselves caught up in it. By understanding the process, we learn how to step out of that process. Simply stated, the process is Desire – Conception – Sin – Death.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
The revelation of this process also shows its weakness. If we simply choose what we desire, we change the process altogether.
Some people don’t believe they can choose their desires, but we can. We may not change what we enjoy, but we can train ourselves to like other, better things. People do this all the time on diets. I love sugar, but I am training myself to enjoy other foods and to VALUE them so that I want to choose the healthy foods over the good foods.
How does this relate to the right or left turn? It’s simple. When we look at the process, we soon realize that we can make three kinds of choices: 1. Spiritually bad, 2. Spiritually good, 3. Spiritually neutral. The choice to go right or left might be spiritually neutral, but it could become spiritually positive or negative–depending on what my motive is.
Making the spiritual turn
A right turn might just be a right turn, but it could be a turn that takes me by the house of someone who has been out sick so that I can drop by for a minute on the way to my task. A salad could help me be healthier so that I have the energy to help others in some way. The decision to eat with a friend instead of eating alone could be a spiritually good decision. It is impossible to calculate the number of ways you can grow spiritually every single day of your life. But have you noticed them?
Now you will.
All of the decisions we make have consequences. Consequences are inescapable. It’s time for us to stop dreading the consequences, stop merely accepting that they are there, and begin USING those consequences to improve our spirituality by improving our love for God and others around us. You have the power with every decision you make to use that to take one more step toward heaven. Unsure how to make the spiritually good decision? Seek the wisdom God promised in James 1:5.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.