Would Youth Rather: Choices
Have you ever wondered why you make the choices that you do? Why do you dress, talk, act, and sit as you do? Who or what pressures us to do what we do or how we do it? Think about it, it’s the things and people around us, like social media, our family, friends, people, school, music, etc. How about this; do others label you a certain way, or do you do this to yourself? Have you asked the question, am I liked? Or Who likes me and who does not? We want to be appreciated!
So again, why do we do the things we do? Is it sometimes out of fear of not being included, fear of losing friends and being alone, or being labeled as something that you do not want to be labeled as? This is something I have experienced before. I have changed how I dress, talk, and act to fit in and be accepted. However, Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Check out the MSG version of this passage; it’s excellent!
So, we are called to transformation, to make better decisions based on God’s will rather than our own. “God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Matthew 6:19-21 talks about how our hearts, treasures, and actions should not be based on fear or depend on acceptance from others. Instead, God calls us to be different and says we will stand out. He says that our goal should not be to get the most attention, friends, or trophies but rather to tell as many people as possible that they are loved and accepted by God and can receive forgiveness no matter their choices. Of course, God calls us to change something within ourselves, but this is for our good. And He does this because He loves us.
The things around us impact how we do and say something and think about and understand things. Your output reflects your input or what you put in. Are you digesting others’ thoughts of you or God’s truth about you? So, what do your actions say? Do others like you for the right reasons? Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:34, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” This is the principle where input=output What are others putting in, and what are you putting in? Our choices matter! What will you choose? Are we displaying God’s truth or others? Matthew 7:16-20 talks about how we will be known by our fruits.
Are we being led by God when we make choices or culture and trends? Do our steps line up with God? Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.” Invite God into the choices you make! God gives us free will to make choices so that we may learn from our mistakes. Yes, mistakes happen along the way, but God provides forgiveness when we ask. God will guide you in the way you should go. When we allow God to lead us in our decision-making, our choices become more and more good, pleasing to God, and reflective of His perfect will.
Let me give you a choice: Would you rather be controlled by fear and acceptance or live free and in step with Jesus? Who’s going to make that choice for you? Ask God to show you the source of your choices!
REFLECTION- (Reflect quietly or journal)
Close your eyes and reflect on this message and your choices. Bring your choices before God. Listen to His voice and ask WWJD? Think about recent choices you made this week and today. What were your choices reflecting? Ask God to show you the source of your choices!
PRAY- Dear God! Thank You for being with us today and never giving up on us. Reveal Yourself to us in every decision that we make. Help us to make good and godly choices that are pleasing to You. Please help us to make a change in our choices where we need to. Teach us not to respond in fear of not being accepted or fitting in, and teach us to respond to Your love and acceptance. Shine Your light in our lives and others’ lives. Use us, God! Show us how to walk in step with Your will. Thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross so we can receive Your forgiveness. We appreciate You! In Jesus’s mighty name, AMEN!