The sum of our decisions

by DP

Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance. Proverbs 1:3-5

It is undeniable, even when we fail to accept it: we are the sum of our decisions. Nothing more, nothing less. All we have and have not achieved, is a product of the decisions we have made. I will concede that for some, unique situations are not of their own making, but even when these exogenous situations have come to our lives, it is up to us to make the right decisions in the midst of them.

You might argue that your situation is different, or is it? Our nature always makes us make excuses that will try to put our conscience at ease. I know this firsthand, I have done it myself. But by doing that will not change the facts, we are just ignoring them and hurting ourselves and those close to us. As a father I have the responsibility to provide and guide my family. Providing, in the practical sense of the word, is the easy part because it can be measured instantly. To guide takes a whole lot of other skill sets. It is more difficult, because at the expense of being shunned or disliked by those you love, one has to make the right decisions and think about the end and not the moment. So making right decisions, for whatever situation we are, remains in my opinion, the top priority in life.

There are so many options today, so many voices that our sons, daughters and ourselves can lend our ears to; good and bad voices. And it is here where making good decisions is crucial. For many of them, the results cannot be measured immediately; time will prove them right or wrong. So decisions come to be basically a look at the end result. In thinking at this I could find myself at a loss. I want to end well, and I know for a fact that my inclination to get my way could hinder my chances to ending well.

What reference should I use? What guidance can I get that will help me make the right decisions along the way? How can I make my relationships, my finances and my health blossom? What is the standard to follow? There are many great individuals in that have exuded examples of making great decisions. Men and women that occupy positions of leadership and are very well known. There are others that their names are not that public but have made an impact in our everyday lives with their example; we could name many. But there is a reference that has proven, time and time again to be the undisputed standard of making right decisions. The Bible is a book of how to end well. In it we find the sum of the stories of men and women like you and me, that quite frankly were presented with options, seeked counsel and made decisions. Many followed the counsel given and ended well, and those that didn’t lent their ears to wise and Godly direction, did not.

What point of reference are you using? Could it be that you have relied on your own understanding and have not even considered to seek a different point of reference? Has your decisions taken you to a place you don’t want to be? Decide today to make the right choices and change your reference point. In the end, God wants your well being. His love for us is so big that he sent his Son to ensure a way for us to end well. His word is full of guidance and wise counsel. Give yourself a chance. In the end we are the sum of our decisions.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved

From a mistake to a miracle

by DP

The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” Joshua 10:8

Joshua had been instructed to eliminate all of the enemies of Israel. He had done so in Jericho, and the city of Ai, but he made a promise to spare the life of the Gibeonites. Most likely they would be the next in line for defeat as these other cities. That is why when the people of Gibeon heard of this, they resorted to a ruse. They would disguise themselves as inhabitants from a distant city, with worn out clothing and moldy bread. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath. Joshua did not seek God’s will on this matter and compromised himself and the nation. When the neighboring cities heard of this alliance, and army was assembled to attack Gibeon. But because of their oath, now Israel had to protect them.

Even when Joshua had not consulted God for this decision, which clearly had a binding effect, God performed a miracle that day; the sun stood still for an entire day. Joshua was in this situation because of a bad decision he had made, a mistake. Nevertheless, God acted on his behalf and heard his prayer.

You might be questioning every single decision you have made and every single action done in the past that caused you to be in the situation you are in today. It might feel that there is no use to ask God for direction because it was you who blew it, and you pound and accuse yourself. You even have these solo conversations in your car, asking why could I be so naive? Why didn’t I see this? Why did I trust? Question after question that is only making a bad situation make you feel worst and you translate this failure to make it your identity. Failure does not define you. Failure is an event, never a person.

Stop demeaning yourself. Stop questioning why you did or did not do or say something. Shake off those accusing voices from your life and press on. The past cannot be change, but the future is waiting to be transformed by you. You can go around and around the same issue for the rest of your life, or do something about it. You can continue complaining or lift yourself up and change your life.

Thats what Joshua did. He marched all the way to the battle. He was in it because of a mistake he had made, but he marched on to win the battle, and in doing so a great miracle unfolded. The sun stood still. So could be with you. If you rise up and march on, God can turn things around in your life even if your predicament has been caused by you. God can change everything around if you believe. You will see your life unfold from a mistake to a miracle.

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© Copyright DP, 2011