Choices That Lead to Growth
(by Don Osten)
As believers, we are new creatures in Jesus. It’s a different life than before we decided to enter into this Christ life. This new life requires choices about how we will approach our life. Before Jesus we might not have given much thought to how we lived. We did as we pleased—sometimes in spite of what we were told and the way we were raised. Some of our choices were good, some bad—but it was our life. And that was that.
Today you may be assessing where you are in your life and how those choices have shaped you. Here are a few ideas that can help your future choices lead to growth.
1. Be “pro”, not “anti”
The gospel is a revelation. Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life. Embracing this new way is as different as day and night.
We can be frustrated by our religious background for not telling us the truth. It can be tempting to turn our life into a campaign against that religious approach.
As well lifestyle choices before Jesus might have seemed like freedom, but now you see their bondage and cost. Again, it can be tempting to campaign against those choices.
Instead being “anti”, be “pro”. Be a promoter of personal freedom, of truth, of positive and nurturing relationships.
Make your life all about moving toward truth and freedom instead of a campaign against religious ideas. Build up the people in your life—whether your family, your community, your workplace or school.
This will help your effectiveness and influence. It will also help you to be happier in your life.
2. Understanding why you are the way you are is less important than choosing growth
When I first came to Christ as teenager, I saw how my life was shaped by my environment. I regularly thought, “I must be this way because …”
As I got serious about spiritual things and learned to read the New Testament myself, I was confronted with commands like:
Put away rage
Be completely humble and compassionate
Forgive as God in Christ has forgiven you
I saw the character qualities offered by obedience to be more desirable than the life I was living by pinballing my way through life—reacting to my environment and the people in it, or settling for my heritage and the influence of those around me.
I chose to grow in the channels described by the verses above (and many others) instead of allowing myself to settle for who I would become without the attention to intentional growth.
3. See your life as a mission
It’s a privilege to be a part of what God is accomplishing. Each of us is made to participate in His great plan for everyone, everywhere to know His Son Jesus and experience new life.
We will do that in all sorts of ways, designed for our personal make up—our personality, interests, and talents.
God intends for us to participate in this revolution of changing lives. Choose to let this mission be your own.