I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.
We make them every day, don't we? Some are as inconsequential as to whether to indulge in dessert or forego it. Others carry more weight and demand careful consideration before we can choose wisely.
But it's those game-changing choices, which Paul refers to in the Scripture quoted above, we are called to make that can result in the be-all, end-all difference in our lives.
When I read Chapter Eleven of Jerry Bridges' book, The Discipline of Grace, entitled The Discipline of Choices, I immediately think of Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken. The result? A complete departure from how I traditionally blog here.
I have copied each verse of the poem, followed individually with Scripture and a quote from Bridges. As you read, I invite you to think about the choices, large and small, you have made in your life. Were they the best ones for you at the time? Did you ever regret a choice you made? Were there choices you made when you knew, beyond a doubt, that the Holy Spirit was guiding you? Read on and enjoy!
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry that I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
"The Bible is indeed a very relevant book giving instruction and guidance for our daily lives. In following the instruction, however, we are continually faced with a series of choices. ~Jerry Bridges
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as far that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
"In other words, the practice of putting off sinful attitudes and actions and putting on Christlike character involves a constant series of choices. We choose in every situation which direction we will go. It is through these choices that we develop Christlike habits. ~Jerry Bridges
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
"You do not want to leave, too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
"Holiness of character, then, is developed one choice at a time as we choose to act righteously in each and every situation and circumstance we encounter during the day. ~Jerry Bridges
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
"We become more holy by obedience to the Word of God, by choosing to obey His will as revealed in the Scriptures in all the various circumstances of our lives."
" . . . all the various circumstances . . ."
Have you chosen your path, or are you still standing at the crossroads?
Thank you for being a part of this journey through Jerry Bridges' The Discipline of Grace. It is led by fellow Christian bloggers Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter. As I will be on vacation the third week in September, my next Wednesday post will be my final one concerning this book. Hope to see you then!