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  • Steve McFarland

The Privilege, Problem, and Power of Choice


I. The Privilege:

1) Nothing else in creation has the opportunity to choose to the extent that we humans have. Did your cat wake up worried about what it was going to wear today? Can the almond trees choose to produce apples instead? Or can the sun just determine it isn’t going to shine? Choice came in the package when God said let us make man in our image.

2) Our nation has fought many wars and millions of our soldiers have died to gain and sustain our independence, our right to choose. A right many nations don't have.

3) Can you imagine the disappointment of going to Shubert's if all they offered was vanilla?

II. The Problem:

1) So many choices. Once when my son Zack was about 7 we were at a gas station and I had him pick out a candy bar. He would choose one then stop, put it back, and pick up different kind. He did this 5 or 6 times. Even as I started to pay for what I thought was the final choice he ran back and switched to another one. The next time he and I were at that station and I offered for him to get candy he told me to go in alone and pick one for him. He said it was too hard to make a choice. So it is in life, there are so many choices to make and most are far more important than what candy to pick. It can become paralyzing.

2) We can make a bad choice. Just one more drink before I hit the road. I’ll spend more time with the wife and kids once I get all this other stuff settled. I think I’ll take our life savings and invest it in a video store.

3) Our choices affect others. Whether it’s the drunk who chooses to get behind the steering wheel and swerves into oncoming traffic, the parent who chooses to pursue their own pleasure rather than the well being of their child, or thousands of other choices we can make, they have a rippling effect.

III. The Power:

1) It is a parent's greatest fear! You can love, teach, bribe, threaten, and beg but as your child grows older you cannot control what they choose.

2) I love this statement Victor Frankel made to his Nazi captors while in their hellish concentration camp;

You can beat me, strip me, starve me, and even kill me, but you cannot control how

I choose not to hate you.

We may not be able to choose all the situations we have to face in our lives but we do not have to let them dictate who we are. Another quote that I find to be very true is by Chuck Swindoll;

“The remarkable thing is I have a choice every day of what my attitude will be. I cannot change my past. ... The only thing I can change is attitude. Life is ten percent what happens to me

and ninety percent how I react to it.”

IV. Where There is No Choice

1) Romans 3:9,10,23 ...all people … are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.... For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

2) But Jesus makes it possible to choose to be in right relationship with God!

Romans 3:24-25 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood….

3) He also patterned, taught, and leads us through the MAZE of life’s choices.

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