“Choices—It’s not that complicated.”
In a powerful, but less than delicate description, James likens sin to the process of reproduction. “But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (James 1:14-15). Some things just cannot be dismissed as complicated. Adam and Eve’s sin was a simple matter of ‘to eat, or not to eat,’ and their son, Cain’s options were ‘to kill, or not to kill?’—hardly rocket science. We only start talking about sin as ‘Complicated’ when we are in need of excuses. You would think we would have learned from experience, but we still copy Adam’s, “my wife said it was fine,” and Eve’s, “the devil made me do it” routines as if somehow they actually worked for them. They didn’t! We can’t control the behavioural choices of others, but we can control our own. “I have decided!” needs to be our new Statement of Conviction.
These Decisions should be preceded by a five-step process: 1. Deliberate prayer, 2. Information sought from the Word, 3. Advice from godly brethren, 4. Careful consideration for those affected and 5. Conviction that the outcome is of God. A series of deliberate decisions aimed at avoiding the inevitable destruction caused by sowing to please the flesh. Equally, by continually sowing to please the Spirit, we are guaranteed to reap eternal life (see Galatians 6:8). Everyone is better off for our new resolve. I will not mislead you. Your decisions are a part of a very large web of ideas and actions. All around us, all the time, we are affected by, and contributing to, the flow of humanity. This calls for strength and courage in this evil generation. There were few great leaders of Israel who achieved the fame of Jacob when it came to making the right choices. So I will leave you with is convictions on the subject: “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).