The Freedom to Choose
Why are choices so hard for us? Especially now in our twenties. Things seemed much easier in college. The decisions I had to make ranged from what to eat for dinner to whether or not I should nap or study for that test I have in two hours. Though my indecisiveness managed to nag its way to the surface at times, I was able to make most decisions without falling apart.
Yet, things changed after graduation. Suddenly every choice seemed not only monumental, but also paralyzing. There weren’t just two choices to choose between, there were millions. I stood before a world that was stirring with possibility, and I felt like the least likely candidate to move forward into them. Every choice seemed to carry with it a weight that seemed too heavy to carry-from relationships to jobs to ministry. I had no idea how to maneuver through these series of choices and decisions that seemed to direct the rest of my life. Most of the time I felt like I was walking on a tight rope, and the security and stability I so desperately needed under me were no where to be found. One wrong choice and I would end up falling through the air into God knows what.
That paralyzed feeling is one that I know we all feel. Its driven by fear, and as long as fear is in the drivers seat of my life I will find myself either not making any choices or making choices that lead me to the most comfortable, easy, self-fulfilling life. Neither of those options is what God has for us.
I believe that God desires for us to mature into men and women who can make healthy and wise choices. I believe he desires for us to be confident in the choices that we make, and to rest assured in his provision and grace when we mess up. I believe that God wants us to trust in his sovereignty and believe that his purposes will prevail no matter what choice we make. I believe that these are truths that we must grasp when we are faced with the choices that stand before us.
When I think about the fears that keep me paralyzed from making choices, more than one comes to mind. The biggest one is that I am terrified of making the wrong choice. Like I said before, one wrong choice and I’m done for. Yet, I have come to believe that this is not exactly the case. I have come to this belief by actually making a lot of wrong choices. More than I can count, and somehow by the grace of God I haven’t seemed to ruin my life.
There is a freedom that I believe God gives us, and it’s the freedom to make mistakes, the freedom to fail. It’s a freedom that I think is hard for us perfectionist and legalists, but as long as we are thinking that we have to make the right choice, we wont be making many choices at all. In order to make a healthy wise choice, I have to understand grace. I have to grasp the fact that if I fall off that tight rope I am going to fall into the grace of God.
God is not staring down at me waiting for me to make a mistake so he can watch my life fall apart. He is a loving father who desires to help me make wise choices that will bring him glory and make me more like his son. He knows that the choices before me look intimidating and that the future looks widely unknown. He desire to give us faith to believe that he has given us a spirit of a sound mind that has the ability discern what is best for us if we have renewed it with the word of God.
Now, the Bible doesn’t seem to tell me what I should do in each and every situation I encounter. It doesn’t tell me what job to take or tell me if I should marry this person. What it does tell me is who God is, the kind of things he honors and doesn’t honor. It tells me the things he loves and the things he hates. It also tells me the kind of person God desires for me to be. It tells me the condition of his heart toward me, and the kind of heart he longs to put inside of me.
And if he believes that with that revelation from his word accompanied with the spirit or wisdom and discernment he has placed inside us is enough for us to make choices, then I choose to believe that too.
I have come to realize that God is far more concerned with the condition of my heart rather than what I decide to do. He desires for me to be surrendered and for my motives to be pure and sincere. He speaks much more to our identity than he does to what we should do. I believe that the more we come to know who God is and who we are in him, the more our decisions will be ones that are led and inspired by his spirit. I have heard it said that if we walk in Gods way we can trust that we are in his will, and that brings my anxious heart much rest.
If I’ve learned one thing from making choices in your twenties it’s that it is always going to require some sort of faith. I don’t like doing much without being 100% certain of it, but that kind of certainty doesn’t seem to be possible in our world. We can be certain of one thing and one thing alone, and that is Gods unchanging character. Even that certainty is one that requires faith.
We are a people that has signed up for walking be faith and not by sight. We are going to have to exercise this faith in making our choices. After we have asked for wisdom and sought wise council and gone through all the steps of decision-making, there will come a time where a choice will have to be made.
If our hearts are surrendered and we can believe the truths about who God is and who we are in him, we will find that these choices don’t have to be terrifying. We will be able to walk though these crazy years of our lives with a confidence that makes others wonder and gasp. A confidence that is not in ourselves but in the one whom we trust with our choices and decisions. Ultimately, we can walk with a faith that points others to the rest and assurance we have in Jesus Christ.
Nikki Beck is a James Madison University Graduate with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Humanitarian Affairs. Her heart is to reveal to others what the Lord has revealed to her. She is attempting to maneuver through her twenties with as much grace as possible, and she hopes that her writings remind others that they are not alone in this rollercoaster of a life and that God really is up to something good. She enjoys swinging and bike riding, and pretty much anything that involves the wind blowing. You can find more of her writings at https://fromglorytogloryy.wordpress.com.