Vol.XVI No.XII Pg.4
February 1980

You Make The Choice!

Robert F. Turner

Last Spring, when I did my student teaching at San Marcos High School, I noticed a common attitude among the students. It seemed that many of them did not want to take the responsibility for their actions — especially if those actions led to unpleasant consequences. I was reminded of Paul's words in Galatians 6:7, "...for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." I tried, during the few weeks that remained, to get my students to apply this principle to more than just their grades. It was not uncommon to hear, in most of my classes, "You can either enjoy the consequences of your actions or suffer the consequences of your actions: the choice is up to you."

Most people realize, to some extent, that certain actions will yield certain consequences or results. The student knows that unless he spends some time studying, he will not reap a passing grade in the class. The athlete knows that diligent practice will yield better abilities. The farmer knows that a field planted with wheat always yields a crop of wheat. What we shall reap is determined by what seeds we have chosen to sow. Yet, while we are aware of this principle, we do not always apply it.

We can easily see the application of this principle in the physical realm (as in the examples of the student, athlete, and farmer), but there seems to be some hesitancy to make the application in the spiritual aspects of life. Too often, we either fail to realize or we refuse to recognize the consequences of our actions in the spiritual realm. The foolish virgins chose to take only a small amount of oil for their lamps. They failed to realize the consequences of their short-sightedness until it was too late (Matt. 25:1-f). In Luke 16:19-f, we read of a man who made the choice to serve himself rather than God and others. The result — "the rich man also died, and was buried; and in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments..." Many are ignorant of God's spiritual laws, but that does not excuse them from the consequences of their sins.

There are also those who refuse to listen to God's laws. A person may know that certain actions will lead to his spiritual ruin; yet, he does not want to give up those actions. So he makes the choice to ignore God's will and continue in his sin. "But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear... therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 7:11, 12). When we choose to sin, whether in ignorance or rebellion, we will suffer the consequences of our sin.

God has set forth certain laws in both the physical and spiritual aspects of life. These laws are in existence for our benefit, but we are not forced to comply with them. God has given us a free will; and, as creatures of choice, we can choose to follow or disregard these laws. But remember — we will either enjoy the consequences or suffer the consequences of our actions because "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The choice is up to you. Kevan O'Banion