There is a phrase that I am fond of saying. I think I say it more intensely and in frequency right around this time of the year when so many people have to make decisions. The phrase? “Your decisions determine your destiny.”
I am firm believer of this. As I look at my life, I realized I am where I am because of the decisions and choices that I have made. Of course, there are some decisions that were not as wise and some decisions that I wish I could have prayed about some more. But nonetheless, these choices have shaped who I am today (for better or for worst).
Over the years, I have come to understand that decisions and choices are fueled by various motivations. This is what I am always trying to examine when it comes to the decisions that I have to make. Also, this is what I try to help people to examine when it comes to the decisions that they have to make.
It is amazing to see how many choices are made because of fear, insecurity, lack of faith, desire to please people, selfishness, pride, and the list goes on and on. Decisions are never easy – even the simple ones of what to eat or what to wear. But decisions must be made and it is these decisions that make us who we are. Therefore, we have to honestly ask ourselves, “Are our decisions going to glorify God or glorify ourselves?” “Is it going to build God’s Kingdom or build my kingdom?”
I love what C. S. Lewis said in his book, Mere Christianity, about decisions. Lewis writes, “Every time you make a choice, you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And, taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a Heaven creature or into a hellish creature – either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is Heaven: that is, it is joy, and peace, and knowledge, and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”
Where are we turning the central part of who we are?
The more I look into the Bible, the more I see that decisions that turn the central part of us toward heaven are difficult decisions. It requires death to self – death to our selfishness, our pride, our insecurities, our impure motives, our fears and etc.
Maybe the reason why some of us are having a hard time deciding is because we are not willing to die to ourselves. I think the call of Christ to every disciple is clear – “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:34-37)