Choices are made all the time but when it comes to relationships, Christian singles have to be careful about dating choices. One simple choice can change your entire life (for good or ill). That’s why it’s so important to be careful when dealing with such life-changing choices. Don’t make the wrong choice!
Choices are made moment-by-moment in our lives. Some are very minor or perhaps insignificant, while others set things in motion for tremendous good or harm. Did you ever make a choice you wish you could take back? I can hear a loud positive response to that question!
When our daughter was in the second grade she had a friend named Amy. Amy was a Pastor’s daughter and a sweet and precious influence on our daughter. In class one day Amy responded to the teacher’s question with a quick but wrong answer. It was no sooner out of her mouth than she realized it was wrong. She quickly followed with the words ‘circle that!’ The method that the teacher used to grade papers was to circle incorrect answers on their papers. Amy logically thought that she could use this same approach to take back inaccurate statements. That episode has remained with me for over 25 years now. How I wished that I could use the ‘circle that’ principle with some of my choices.
Emails are often received describing some terrible choice(s) that a single has made. I have one such email sitting in my inbox right now begging for a response. This woman made one choice that poured into many others. She knew that they were wrong but when she opened the door to one, the others quickly followed. The power and shame that came from her choices caused her to rush to other choices – like a divorce.
Choices and Feelings
You know what most often follows bad choices – FEELINGS! The emotions kick in big time and command to be followed. When emotions become the primary force behind our choices you will find that bad choices are followed with more bad choices, and pain with more pain. It is a downward spiral.
Shame is an emotion that many singles find in their path after poor choices. The realization of what they have done hits them. They are sorry for their mistakes but shame is like a door that does not open to allow them to move to a place of safety and restoration. Instead of stopping the downward spiral and moving to good choices, it is easier to allow the emotion of shame with his cousin guilt to imprison the person. The person becomes stuck and this can go on for years or the rest of their lives if emotions are allowed to fuel choices.
“Shame, when the realization of what they have done hits them.”
What does one do in such a condition?
A choice to override emotions is essential to begin the process toward health and freedom. The forces of evil want to keep a person under the control of shame and guilt. Such a condition will create inner voices that speak negativity, depression, and poor self-worth continually. Do not trust emotions at a time like this.
God wants you to move from the neighbourhood of shame back home to his blessings, peace, and freedom. Remember the story of the prodigal son? Why is that story in the Bible? I suggest it is because God knew that you and I would make such mistakes. He wants to be sure that we understand how to handle such times in our lives.
What happened when the prodigal son came home? Did he get a scolding or the place of a servant? NO! The father ran to meet him and wept like a baby at the return of his child. God, your Father, is waiting to run if you will turn away from your emotions and confess your error in choices. He wants to hug you and burst out with his expressions of love and care for you. Welcome home is waiting for you – now! Read 1John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Claim this promise.
Once you have reconciled with God, ask God whom He wants you to reconcile with on this earth. What? You do not feel like it? Wait a minute dear friend. It was feelings that got you into trouble and those same feelings are filling your spirit now. I realize that feelings are not turned off and on by merely throwing a switch. BUT they are the product of a DIET. Yes, feelings/emotions are the result of a diet that we feed our spirit. You can change your diet and it will change your feelings.
“Claim this promise”
Seek God to guide your choices.
Instead of focusing on the negative force a new diet of positive into your spirit. God may not ask you to return to a past relationship if it is not safe for you to do so. But, if it is only a matter of your pride and the other person’s behavior and choices do not measure any worse than what you have done, then seek God’s Spirit to guide you to wise choices. My experience has revealed that if most people in a relationship would make the choice to work through their difficulties, therein would lay the golden life that each of them desire. It is not in finding someone else with their set of problems that we find love, but in working through crises and challenges with those God has already given us in relationship.
Are you ashamed?
Shame? Wish you had not made those choices? Yes, I join you in that realization. Remember my story about Amy and how she wanted to use her teacher’s approach to circling mistakes? God is the only one who can circle that and take the penalty for that choice from you. Give it to him now. The next time you begin to be filled with thoughts of shame and guilt realize that God gives you the power over this. Say to these thoughts – stop. You are at the wrong address and need to go find Jesus and discuss the penalty for the bad choice/sin. He has accepted the penalty and set me free to move on and sin no more.
I know of what I speak in this article. I have committed sins of immense shame and God has not only forgiven me, but give me the power to move forward with life into a world of possibilities, hope, joy, and love. I join God in desiring this for you.
“Jesus has accepted the penalty and set me free to move on and sin no more.”