Life is about making decisions. Most of the decisions we make we don’t really pay attention to; we choose what radio station to listen to, what to eat for dinner, or what movie to go see. We don’t spend hours agonizing over decisions like that; the choice presents itself and we make it and most of the time just carry on with the day.
There are those times though when the decision seems bigger – we have to choose a career, choose a home, or choose a spouse. These are the kinds of decisions that keep us up at night; they move us to seek council from others and carefully weigh out the options.
Big or small, we are always deciding something. But the big and the small are not isolated from each other. In fact every small decision is in reality a reflection of a larger one.
In other words, life is about big decisions actualized in little choices. Here are a couple of examples:
Marriage is a big choice. At a moment, you commit before God and others to honor your husband or wife, no matter what may come. You promise to be faithful and cherish them throughout whatever life throws at you, whether rich or poor or sickness or health. That’s a big decision. But today, you have the chance to actualize that decision in a ton of little ways. Will you ask caring questions about your spouses daily activities and feelings? Will you serve them by doing the household chore they hate to do? Will you put down your phone or remote and listen to them earnestly and genuinely? All these little choices are just a reflection of the bigger decision you’ve already made.
Here’s another one. You choose to honor God with your body. That’s a big choice. But every morning, you have to decide whether you will go to the gym or sleep in. Then you have to decide if it’s going to be tacos or salad for lunch. You have to decide whether or not you will go to bed at a decent hour or whether you’ll stay up. Those are little choices, but they too are a reflection of the larger commitment you’ve made.
You can really look at any small daily choice like this. If you want to filter it through this dynamic, then just ask yourself what’s the larger decision behind the smaller choice you’re making right now? In fact, you can actually hold up this dynamic to your faith.
Believing in Jesus? That’s a big choice. The Bible puts it to us in the form of the two twin towers of a relationship with Christ. Those two towers, the foundational pillars of what it means to be right with God, are summed up in these words:
Repent, and believe.
The big choice of repentance is that you once and for all decide to repent of your self-lordship. You turn from your natural commitment to rule your own life driven by your own personal desires.
The big choice of belief is that you believe that Jesus is Lord over all, including you. You repent and believe.
But today you and I will both have a myriad of opportunities to actualize those big decisions through a ton of much smaller ones. We will choose a thousand times today whether to repent and believe in all these little ways. And each and every time we choose to repent of our selfishness, greed, pride, lust, and everything else that represents our self-lordship; and each and every time we instead choose to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord in our relationships, our finances, our homes, our marriages, and every other area of our lives; we are actualizing what it meant when we first stood before God and others to say that we are not the Lords of our own lives.
Chances are you have already made some big choices, Christian. What’s left for you is to make little choices in line with what’s already been decided.