Every day we make choices. Doing your homework is a good choice. Studying for a test is a good choice. Eating a healthy breakfast is a good choice.
Sometimes society or the government try to help us make good choices.
For example, most people agree that smoking is a bad health choice. So in order to help with good choices, some governments have ordered cigarette companies to make packaging less attractive to teens. Many places have banned smoking so people have fewer places in which to smoke and therefore ideally less time to smoke. The idea is to help people make a good choice not to smoke in light of cancer and other smoking related illnesses.
In June I read that a Massachusetts mayor is taking inspiration from a controversial New York City proposal to ban sugary beverages in restaurants that are larger than sixteen ounces. Mayor Henrietta Davis not only wants to outlaw large-size sugary drinks in restaurants but wants to take it even further – to outlaw free refills of sugary drinks. The idea is to help people make a good choice not to over indulge in sugary drinks in light of obesity and diabetes.
Being prepared for marriage is another good choice. Many people spend years preparing for a career and no time at all preparing for marriage (lots of time preparing for the wedding day, but there is a BIG difference). In light of the increasing divorce rate, some States in the US will not allow a couple to get married without pre-marriage counseling. Dean won’t perform a wedding unless the couple agrees to pre-marriage counseling with us or someone else. That goes even for our own sons as Dean has done their weddings.
Even though the government and others try to help us make good choices, we still have to make the final decisions.
God also tries to help us make good choices about a relationship with Him. He shows His love through creation and specific messages through the Bible, and you might even say He was behind the scenes encouraging you to read this!
But the final decision lies with you.
To help you make your choice, I want to refer to the argument philosopher Blaise Pascal used. It is sometimes called Pascal’s wager.
In a really abbreviated version, Pascal basically says that you can choose either A or B.
A – You believe God exists. You believe that Jesus died for your sins. You live your life to please Him. When you die you go to heaven to live with Him.
If you are right, you gain EVERYTHING. If you are wrong, you lose NOTHING.
B – You don’t believe God exists. You live your life to satisfy your own wants and desires. When you die you are separated from God.
If you are right, you gain NOTHING. If you are wrong, you lose EVERYTHING.
What choice will YOU make?
Cindy Westacott, OWI Youth Director