“We are the sum total of the choices we have made.”
I’m not sure who originally said the quote above. It’s been attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Wayne Dwyer, Woody Allen, and more. Perhaps they all said it at some point, because we instinctively know it to be true. Our lives are created by our choices. Every choice takes us closer to or farther away from the person we want to be.
Every choice takes us closer to or farther away from the person we want to be.
So much of life is making decisions. These vary from small and inconsequential, like which outfit to wear, to important and life-changing, like which career to pursue. Many times, big choices are the result of a series of small choices. Consider marriage as an example: You choose to have coffee with a guy, then choose to have dinner. Many choices later, you eventually choose to say yes to his proposal.
The most important decision we will make in this life is what we will do with Jesus. Will we accept His sacrifice on the cross? Or will we deny that He is God and turn away?
From that one decision, most of our other choices can be made. Once we decide to follow Jesus, we have a whole book of guidance about how to live. We are always becoming more like Jesus or less like Him. There really is no in-between.
As a follower of Christ, I want to live my life to honor God and bless others. I need to make choices minute-by-minute and day-by-day that help me accomplish that ultimate purpose.
- Am I going to be the kind of person who has deep friendships? Or be an unreliable friend?
- Will I choose to give my husband my full attention? Or will he be constantly waiting for me to get off of my phone?
- Am I going to be remembered as a mom who says yes to a request to play? Or one who always says, “in a few minutes”?
- Will I choose to wait on God? Or strive to make things happen my own way?
When possible, make the best choice ahead of time. When you know you’re approaching a decision, pray ahead and decide ahead. Then when the opportunity actually comes, all you have to do is carry out the choice you’ve already made.
But not every decision can be made ahead of time, as much as I may wish that were so. Life is beautifully messy sometimes. Days turn out differently than we plan or we receive new information about a choice. That’s why it’s vital to stay close to God so the Holy Spirit can guide our decision making.
Choice is a powerful thing. We have the power to create the lives we want through the choices we make. We must choose well.
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