Did you know that each of us make about 35,000 choices a day? That’s 12775000 per year. The thought alone overwhelms me; I’ve always been indecisive. Last year especially was a bit difficult for me, with all of the “big” decisions I had to make as a senior—such as which college should I attend… should I even go to college… and if so, what should I study… what do I even want to do for the rest of my life…
There’s a lot of pressure when you know that the course of your future lies on the decisions you make at that age. Especially when you have no idea if you’ll make the right one.
But why is it that we are always so determined to make the right choice with those kind of decisions, yet often fail to consider the choices in smaller areas of our lives?Sure, big decisions may look as if they affect our future more. However, they may only come about three times per year. So what about those other 12774997 choices?
Obviously as a teenager, there are plenty “big decisions” we have to make about our future. However, those are not the only ones that will affect our future for the rest of our lives. The “small decisions” that we make every day actually affect us more than we realize—and whether you believe it or not, the person that you are today is based on the decisions that you made yesterday.
So why do we not give as much attention to those small areas as well? Someone may go back and forth for months about which college to attend, yet may not give even a second thought to the kind of people they’re hanging out with. The “small decisions” we make—such as skipping homework, cheating on a test, or lying to our parents—impact our future just as much as those “big decisions”.
"Are you making your choices for God, or are you deciding by whatever seems desirable in the moment?"
No, these decisions are not to be viewed as little; they direct the course of our lives. Ask yourself: are you making your choices for God, or are you deciding by whatever seems desirable in the moment? As a Christian, it is important that we keep God first in every area of our lives. And if you ever need help with choosing the right thing, ask God to guide you. If you ask, He will show you which way to go in every big and small decision that you make.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” ~James 1:5
This year, be aware of all of the little decisions that you may make—they’ll cost you more than you think. Remember that our decisions are not just temporary.
“A wise person will understand what to do, but a foolish person is dishonest. Fools don’t care if they sin, but honest people work at being right.” ~Proverbs 14:8-9
One lie that the enemy loves to feed us is that “just a little” isn’t a big deal. Have you ever been in a situation such as that? Maybe you’re at a party and you think that just a sip of alcohol won’t hurt; going just a little far with your boyfriend is okay; copying your friend’s homework just this one time is no big deal. However, if you think back to the Garden of Eden, this is exactly what Adam and Eve believed as well. Satan deceived Eve into thinking that just one little bite isn’t a big deal. It’s just an apple; surely it can’t be that bad. Think about the regret Eve must have had afterwards! If only she hadn’t allowed Satan to trick her into believing that the one little decision was harmless.
“There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.” ~Proverbs 14:12-13
"Be determined to live this year entirely for Him in every area of your life—the “big”, as well as the “small”."
Tessa Hall is a 19-year-old coffeeholic and author of Purple Moon. She is also the editor over the faith department for Temperance Magazine, as well as a contributing writer for Imagine Mag, More To Be, & Real Teen Faith. She loves acting, music, Starbucks, and her imperial Shih Tzu—who is named Brewer after a character in her book, as well as her love for coffee.
Strive to make better decisions this year. As you can see with the story of Adam and Eve, just one little rash decision can take you off the path that God had you on. Don’t do anything you’d regret and mess up the future God had planned for you, all because you decided to make a selfish decision that was against God’s will. Be determined to live this year entirely for Him in every area of your life—the “big”, as well as the “small”.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
However, don’t just be determined not to make wrong decisions; be determined to make good decisions as well. This includes not skipping out on your daily quiet time with God, or deciding to invite your friend to church, or maybe sitting with the loner in the cafeteria rather than your friends. All of your choices have consequences—for every action there will be a reaction. What will the reactions to your choices be?
“Wise people are careful to stay out of trouble,
but fools are careless and quick to act.”
If you have made decisions in the past that you regret, remember that God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). Let this year be a new start, a clean slate. It’s never too late to turn your life around and start making better choices. You have never gone too far to call on God and ask him to redirect your life so that your decisions are more pleasing to Him. Refuse to allow yesterday’s choices to keep you from experiencing all that God has in store for you today. Be determined to be a new person this year, and allow God to guide every step you may take.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” ~Proverbs 16:9
You don’t just make your decisions—your decisions are making you. So choose wisely. Each year brings a whole new set of 12775000 choices that will determine the rest of your life.
What will you decide?