Make up your mind
President Ronald Reagan learned the need for decision making early in his life. An aunt took him to have a pair of shoes custom-made. When the shoemaker asked his preference of round toe or square toe, young Ronald hemmed and hawed, so he was told to come back later and tell the shoemaker what he wanted.
A few days later the cobbler saw young Reagan on the street and asked what he had decided about the shoes. “I haven’t made up my mind,” Reagan answered.
“Very well,” said the cobbler. “Your shoes will be ready tomorrow.” They were – one shoe had a round toe and the other a square toe.
Says Reagan, “Looking at those shoes every day taught me a lesson. If you don’t make your own decisions, somebody else makes them for you.”
Our days are crammed full of decisions. Life hinges on them. Repercussions come of them – sometimes regrets; sometimes relief.
At the infant and child stage, most decisions are made for us – when and what to eat, what to wear, when to go to bed. The questions are never asked: “Do you want to brush your teeth?” “Do you want to take a bath?” “Do you want to go to school?” and so forth.
The decisions about daily routines are based on positive and negative considerations. Negative: “Do you want rotten teeth?” Positive: “Do you want a healthy mouth and beautiful teeth?” Negative: “Do you want be dirty and smell bad?” Positive: “Do you want to be clean and smell good?” Negative: “Do you want to grow up ignorant and not care about anything?” “Do you want a good education and be a contributing member of society?” Actually, the positives outweigh the negatives and the negatives hardly need to be mentioned.
But the biggest decision is “What will you do for your spiritual welfare?” In Joshua 24:15, we read of his negative and positive considerations of the matter: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua gave the people a positive history of what God had done for them and he also showed them the other side (negative) of serving other gods. And he announced his decision. This said and done, the people also made their decision to serve the Lord.
Some decisions in life are made on markedly negative considerations with a positive action; for example, buying insurance on a vehicle in case of a wreck or insuring your home in case it burns, is flooded or burglarized. The wrong decision could bring catastrophic repercussions.
So what should the decision to serve Christ be based on? Some would say “to escape punishment” – a negative consideration. Others would say, “to go to heaven or to be blessed” – a positive consideration, but definitely in error.”
If the decision to serve Christ is made on these premises, we’ve missed the mark. To serve God is to satisfy that yearning in the heart to know Him personally and filling that overwhelming desire to please Him. No other reason can bring the joy of salvation. Psalm 40:16 (KJV): “Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.”
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