Every day, in every way, we are the choices that we make. Whether they are good or bad, we live with the consequences of each one. Whether they give us prosperity or poverty, they are the aftermath of the aforementioned. Whether they give us abundant life or untimely death, each one leads to another. Whether they give us sickness or health, or misery or bliss, each one is just as important, if not more important, as the other.

With this in mind, one thing is obvious: we must make our decisions very carefully, for each one will not only have a blaring effect on the other, but will greatly determine our eventual lot in life. Undoubtedly, all the decisions that will be made will not necessarily be the right ones or the best ones. Since we are imperfect human beings, we are bound to make imperfect decisions. However, these decisions should enlighten us to not only discern right from wrong, but also to act upon them – that is, to lean more toward and to make the correct decisions while shunning the incorrect ones. This is much easier said than done. According to the Bible, in Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

As stated earlier, we live in an imperfect world. Sin, evil and temptation are all around. It has been that way since the dismissal of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. It has in the past ruined countless lives, led to the downfall of many great civilizations and is the backbone of many of today’s worldly ills. However, it does not have to permeate one’s life. By refusing to partake in such dastardly deeds, one can become better immune to such self-destructive behavior and begin to make better life-saving decisions to validate his or her existence on Earth.

There is a potential gray spot, however, for there are some choices that may seem like the right ones, but, in the end, are the wrong ones. These are the choices that can be some of the most challenging to decide between. These choices, for the most part, come about when someone is trying to defame or take advantage of another person – or, when someone is trying to persuade another to do something wrong, to do something against his or her will or to keep him or her from obtaining a goal, desire or possession. These may not be obvious at first, since the objective of the person is to lull them into a compromised state to set them up for the eventual comedown.

In fact, the person may pose as his or her friend to gain the person’s trust, or the person may use family ties or friendly ties to gain access to the person. In any case, the ultimate aim is, as the Bible says, referring to the thief, to “rob, kill and destroy.”

The individual who is diligent, discerning and understanding, however, can recognize these situations when they occur and deal with them accordingly. This particular individual has a healthy, proper understanding of how the world works – and how to make it work for him or her – and can with relative ease point out these situations and keep the harmful constituents at bay. On the other hand, the individual who does not possess such crucial knowledge usually finds himself or herself a hapless, hopeless victim. As the Bible so eloquently states, “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself, but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

In conclusion, the choices we make are very influential and instrumental in the quality of life of an individual. Temptations abound, but no one can force one to yield. Evil may exist, but no one can force one to partake in or become a victim of it. Human beings in general are imperfect, but that shouldn’t stop them from striving to be the best they can be, until their eventual call to glory, in which they will be made perfect. In the meantime, they should strive to make the best decisions possible and to be the best that they can be. That alone will aid greatly in giving them a satisfying feeling of life on Earth.

Jackson is a UR employee.His column appears once per semester.

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