(Editor's Note: Today's Guest Writer is Parker Kathleen May.)
Life is full of a series of choices that we make daily whether we know it or not. Water or soda? Work or play? Star Wars or Star Trek? We tend to make these choices without putting much thought into them. Some choices need more consideration than others, but we often end up choosing the fast and easy option and then going about our day.
Christians understand that they should consider God when making big choices in life, choices such as where to go to college and what career path they should follow. However, we seem to forget that we should also consider the regular, menial choices of everyday life in the light of who God is.
Taking God into consideration
When the children of Israel went into Babylonian captivity, the pagan king selected choice young men from the Hebrews to serve him in his court and ordered them to eat his food and drink his wine. Because that was not the diet that God wanted them to eat, one of the Hebrew men named Daniel asked if he and his friends could eat vegetables and water instead. Because Daniel feared the Lord and sought to obey Him, he and his friends were healthier than those who feasted off the king’s meat and wine.
Even though it was just a simple choice – what he would eat - Daniel received blessing from God and became a prominent figure in Babylon. He could have chosen to follow what his captors ordered without question, but he considered what God would want. This is not to say that changing your diet will grant you some great blessings but considering God in choices - no matter how simple they may be - will have a profound impact on the rest of your life.
Not taking God into consideration
At the end of Acts 4, members of the early church were selling their land and giving the money for the care of believers in need. In Acts 5, a man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold part of their land to give the money to the church, but they were not honest about the price at which they sold it. They gave the church only some of it under the pretense that it was all they had. Peter was not fooled however and told Ananias that he lied to God. Ananias dropped dead. When Sapphira came, Peter asked her for the price of the land. She also lied to his face and joined in the same fate as her husband.
If Ananias and Sapphira took the time to consider what God wanted, they would not have lied about the price of the land, but the only thing that they considered was their desire for money and their reputation. The decision they made may have seemed trivial to them, but it altered the course of their life. Even a wrong decision that may seem small, like a “harmless” lie, can have serious repercussions.
How to keep Him relevant in our decisions
When we do not have God as a constant in our lives, we forget to include Him in our decision-making. Some of our choices are so small and menial that we choose without asking Him for wisdom or considering what would be most pleasing to Him. When we become aware of God and what He loves, we make more of an effort to choose what He wants us to do. And the more that His influence is in our lives, the more we start to choose what pleases Him on reflex.
Here are a few things to help us keep our minds on God in the everyday choices we make.
1. As Christians, we are called to meditate on the Word, day and night (Joshua 1:8). It can be hard to do that during the hectic life of a young adult, but the blessings that come from the Word are worth the effort. Reading the Bible during lunch or whenever there are breaks between classes or work are great ways to invest your time.
2. Attending church is another important part of keeping God in our lives. If you cannot make your normal church service, try streaming a sermon on the internet or listening to a Christian radio station or podcast. This should not replace regularly attending church, but when you are unable to you can still hear the teachings of the Word of God.
3. Having open communication with God is an important part of Christianity. One benefit of prayer is being able to ask for God’s help when we need it. The best thing about prayer is that we can do it whenever we want to; there is no set time that we need to pray. We can talk to God while we are driving down the road or lying in our bed at night.
Our lives are filled with many different choices, and God wants us to please Him in what we choose. When we remember to focus on God and include Him in our lives, we will be more inclined to think about Him and ask for His help when we make choices, big or small.