Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Power of a Decision

"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..." Deuteronomy 30:19

From the moment I get out of bed, to the moment I get back in, I'm faced with hundreds, some days thousands, of decisions.

Some are as simple as what necklace should I wear today? What clothes should I pull out for the boys? Should I organize that closet today, or wait until tomorrow? What should we have for dinner?

We're all faced with those decisions and we usually make them without even really thinking too hard.

But everyday we're also confronted with bigger decisions that have much more impact on our lives. Am I going to choose to be in a good mood today, or let my emotions run amok and make everyone suffer? Am I going to listen to my children when they come to me with their troubles, or am I going to keep working on the computer and put them off until later? What television shows will I invite into my house? What conversations will I have with my husband and children? Will I respond to that friend who called for help, or will I pretend I didn't get the message?

Every day we're making decisions that impact our lives and either produce life or death in our relationships, in our careers, in our homes and in our faith. Some decisions don't appear to be a big deal, but they're bigger than we give them credit for. The words that come out of our mouths, the actions we take, the things we spend our time and money on, the activities we commit to - all of the decisions we make add up and define who we are - and, more importantly, they strengthen and encourage, or weaken and tear down parts of our lives.

I think so often people walk through life and never really ask themselves these questions: Who do I want to be today, tomorrow or in ten years? Am I making life-filled decisions, or death-filled ones? Am I investing life into my relationships, my career, my home and my faith?

I can make any decision I want - it's the gift of freewill - so I must choose wisely. Each decision is packed with purpose and carries in it the power of life and death.

One way I've discovered to make life giving decisions is by bearing the Fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), because the Fruit of the Spirit represents life. Fruit is produced by a living plant and has in it seed to produce more plants. When we bear fruit (by the choices that we make) we are planting seeds into our relationships and life. If we're bearing love, then we are planting love. If we are bearing kindness, then we are planting kindness. The reverse is also true. If we're bearing anger, bitterness, resentment or fear, that's what we're planting.

Because God asks us to bear the Fruit of the Spirit, we know that through the strength of the Holy Spirit we can do it and do it well. It's a decision we make every day. It's not always easy to be kind or loving, but it's possible and it produces life. So choose life, that you and your decedents may live.

What about you? Do you think about the power you have in making every day decisions?


  1. Great post! This is something so universally challenging and honestly a daily struggle for me. When I'm low on sleep, patience is lacking, coffee pot is dry...I find those quick decisions becoming poor choices. Lucky for us, Gods grace is sufficient and he can strengthen us in our weakness. I couldn't survive a single day without Him! :)

    Thanks for the boost!

  2. Wow, I so needed this! Sometimes I focus on certain decisions with much consideration and prayer, while other decisions happen on a whim---and these usually are the daily decisions with my children...a lot of it has to do with my distraction and letting my flesh get in the way instead of my heart. The biggest deterrent for these flippant decisions is staying in the Word. Why is it so easy to get lazy!? Ah, thanks for this reminder!

  3. Awesome post, Gabrielle!

    I do try to make my decisions count. I find deciding to watch my words - not just writing, but speaking them - makes a big difference in making or breaking my day. I try not to speak in the negative.

  4. Oh Gabrielle, this was a beautiful post, full of heart and love. Thank you for this reminder to be the person God wants me to be. I love your heart.

  5. I love that song that says "Today I choose to give my best to You." I'm going through that devotional, "Jesus Calling" and I read yesterday about being thankful, living with a thankful spirit and choosing to stay in that mindset. Which is tough, but so beneficial.Great post, Gabe!!

  6. I do. I think about it. Sometimes I dwell on it. Had a cool conversation with my kids the other day about speaking only what it lovely, true, kind, encouraging...etc.
    ~ Wendy

  7. Oh goodness, Gabe...this is so very good. My sister, brother-in-law and I were just talking about this over the weekend...decisions, how our every day words and actions flow from decisions we make, whether we realize it or not. I want to get better at being cognizant of my decisions...making decisions, right ones, on purpose. Thank you so much for the challenge and encouragement this morning!

  8. I do think about decisions I make. It's one of the things that is constantly on my prayer list for myself and my family.

  9. I love you. And I love this post. I love how you're always encouraging me to choose God's way--especially when it comes to not worrying--instead of the way Satan has for me.

  10. Amy - I agree, this is a universally challenging problem, but I believe that being aware of the importance of our decisions is the first step in making better ones. Yes, no sleep, no energy, being impatient, all of it makes doing the right thing harder - but thank God His love covers over a multitude of sins.

    Angie - I hear you. Some decisions take a lot of consideration and prayer, and others I make depending on how I "feel" in the moment, which usually means how my flesh feels. It's hard to be consistent and thoughtful when so many things are screaming for our attention, but you're also right, the Word is the first (and best) place for us to go to quiet our spirits and gain wisdom for all the big and little decisions we are called to make. All the answers are in there. We just need to know what they are, so we can make the right ones.

    Loree - speaking in the negative is the thing that comes so naturally to many of us - but learning how to speak in the positive is such a huge leap towards making life-giving decisions. Our feelings and actions often follow our words, so when our words are positive, our feelings and actions will be, too. Thanks for your wisdom!

    Sherrinda - and I love yours, too. :) Thank you for stopping by and brightening my day.

    Jennifer - I'm usually a positive person. Every once in a while I'll slip into a negative mood and start complaining, but then everything else suffers and I am reminded why we are called to live with a heart of thanksgiving and praise. All of it is connected. If I'm negative and complaining, then I'm not choosing life-giving decisions. Choosing to stay in the mindset of thanksgiving is a huge boost to making good decisions.

    Wendy - I love Philippians 4:8 ("Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things"). I love that the Word is full of life-giving instructions, and if we follow them, we are walking the right path. I also love having those powerful conversations with my children. It's so important to teach them all these things.

    Melissa - you're right, I think that decisions often flow from the words and actions we take, but I also think the words and actions follow the decisions, too - they go hand in hand and need to be agreeing with one another. As a parent, I call this consistency! My words and actions need to be consistent with my decisions, or I'm not being an effective parent. The same is true with all areas of my life. I'm so happy I could challenge and encourage you this morning, you're so good at doing that for me! :)

    Jennifer - I'm so happy to hear that! Being aware of our decisions, and especially praying consistently about them, is so wise - and you've also hit another great point - praying for our family to make the right decisions, too. We're always leading by example and when our children see us making good choices, hopefully they'll do the same.

  11. Lindsay - I love you, too! And you're right, God wants us to choose the path to life, but the enemy would rather we choose the path to death and destruction - and that's exactly what worrying is. Worry comes from a place of fear - but trusting God comes from a place of faith. Thanks for stopping by and putting a smile on my face, Lindsay! :)

  12. Love this. Decisions. Every day "my" decisions affect not just me or my future but the future of my spouse, children and my employees. When I remember that, I think twice and hopefully speak "less".

    Words are powerful. Someone once said, your are living the words your spoke yesterday. It is so very true.

    I heard someone else say to complain = stay the same.


  13. Alena - I love what you said: you are living the words your spoke yesterday. What I love even more is that it's never too late to start making better decisions. We might have to deal with the choices we made yesterday, but starting today I can change tomorrow. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  14. This is a beautiful post, Gabrielle. I think about the decisions that come up on a day to day basis and it's so true how we have the choice, and the responsibility to make the right ones. For me the hardest always relate to mommyhood. When the toddler drops the jar of jelly and the baby is trying to crawl out the front door while the 6 year old needs help with his reading, I always fare best when I pause and tell myself that the joy of the Lord is my strength. I can't get through a day any other way. I'm so thankful for your beautiful reminder :)


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