Friday, July 8, 2011

Multiple Choice Questions

Remember those? The ones I "love" are the four choice answers where the d. choice is "None of the above." There is a parable of life in multiple choice questions. We live in a "multiple choice world" in many ways. Just in the every day decisions of life we have SO many choices.
Just think about tennis shoes. I get so confused in a tennis shoe store. There are hundreds of choices and specialized uses for tennis shoes. How in the world do I know whether the shoe for walking or the shoe for fast walking is the one I need? Eventually I just fall back on the same tennis shoe brand and style I've worn for years. In fact, not long ago I decided to try a new tennis shoe because it was cheaper. I hated those shoes! In fact, I gave them away. They made my feet look like boats and weren't comfortable at all.
Some choices we make are not earth-shaking even if the choice turns out to be wrong. Those choices are more in the category my mother used to call "style." My "style" or your "style" is a matter of preference and neither choice is right or wrong just different!
Other choices make life-shaping and life-changing differences! These choices are the ones we make based on moral, ethical, legal and Biblical standards OR NOT! These choices are the ones that come directly from the compass of our world-and-life view. If my world-and-life-view is consistent with my moral, ethical, legal and Biblical standards then the probability is that my choices will be consistent with my core values.
The problem comes from the heart. It's at the heart level that we make poor and mis-guided choices. We choose out of hurt, resentment, anger, jealousy (all heart issues) and we often depart from those core values! We make choices based on emotion or reaction and often those choices are poor choices with costly consequences.
Your choices and mine reveal our hearts. Consider some Biblical examples: Adam and Eve made very poor choices based on ego, pride, control and greed back in the Garden of Eden. The human race has been paying for those poor choices ever since. That might seem unfair at first glance except that you and I would have almost certainly made exactly the same poor choices in their shoes. Others we meet on the pages of the Bible like Moses, David and Paul all made bad choices and better choices and sometimes even best choices which are documented for us in the accounts we have of their lives.
The other thing about choices is that choices have consequences. We make choices but the consequences just come along for the ride. It's the conseqauence stage of our choices that presents particular problems. We often don't like the consequences for our choices. The problem is there is no "rewind button" for life. We can't go back and reverse the choice so we can reverse the consequence. The choice may be the "do the crime" part of the choice and the "do the time" is the consequence phase.
Who you are - who I am - at the core (heart level) is the sum of all the multiple choice quetions we have answered in the test of life.
John 14 gives us hope and help for our hearts in regard to multiple choice questions:
Jesus says, "I am the Way (or the Road), the Truth and the Life." When we follow Him we will be on the right path, making right choices and living with right consequences! That significantly narrows the options and reduces the pain of consequences!

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