4 “Cs” for Making Right Choices

Each time you and I are confronted with a moral choice, we’re at a crossroad. Do we make the right choice, or a wrong one?

There is a relational process of making right choices that, if we follow it, will bring God’s protection and provision into our lives. Josh McDowell calls this the 4 “Cs.” Let’s review them.

Right choices

> The first C of Right Choices: Consider the Choice

You probably don’t realize how many choices you make on a daily basis. But here’s a nifty experiment: Tomorrow, from sun up to sun down, write down every single choice you make. The big ones, but also the tiny ones.

It might surprise you to see just how many choices you make on a single day. You’ll also see that you make a lot of choices on autopilot, from past thoughts, feelings, and habits you brought into the day.

After you choose to get out of bed, and head to the kitchen, do you choose a donut or an apple for breakfast? We all know which choice is better for our bodies. But the sugary donut tastes so good! So what helps you to decide?

> The second C of Right Choices: Compare the Choice to God

As you begin to think about your day, you likely jump into some level of anxiety, depending on what you have going on. Each of your thoughts then create feelings. When you have a moral choice to make, it’s critical to recognize that your thoughts and feelings will definitely influence you if you’re not actively monitoring them. “We must,” notes Josh, “pause long enough to remind ourselves that we are facing an opportunity for a right or wrong decision.”

Building the habit of that pause matters. Because it gives us time to consider how God wants us to live. Will our choice reflect God’s nature, or mirror our own selfish human nature? It’s not easy letting go of our ego and our hurts, our prejudices and our biases. But in his Word God has specifically told us how to live — from how to handle money issues to how to treat others — to help us to not sin.

We’re human, so we’re gonna mess up. Some days it FEELS like we’re one big prickly blob of feelings. Those are the hard days to get through, for sure. But that’s why God has given us so much guidance in the Bible about making right choices. When we read the Bible, we gain an inner compass to know if our choice will honor God. And if we do screw up and make the wrong choice, that compass (the Holy Spirit) works on us, to lovingly lead us back to restitution with others and God.

God knows we’re not perfect. This isn’t a discussion about perfection. It’s about encouraging you to commit to living to God’s standard, for your benefit. Life is hard enough; why make it harder for yourself through your thoughts and actions?

> The third C of Right Choices: Commit to God’s Way

This is our daily struggle, because of our inherent sinful nature. But it gets easier to make choices that honor God as we daily build this habit. It helps to know yourself really well. What thoughts, feelings, and habits do you keep repeating from the past that are hindering you from making God-honoring choices? What do you need to release to change your heart and mind?

As our thoughts and feelings do so strongly influence our behavior, we have to take them “captive,” as the Bible puts it. We don’t have to dwell on the automatic thoughts that pop into our head from our subconscious. We can send them packing by saying, “No. I reject that thought. I choose to think this one, instead.”

You know how bowling lanes have lane bumpers they can put down to prevent gutter balls? When you actively monitor the thoughts and feelings you allow to influence your choices, so that you choose God’s ways, you add helpful bumpers to your life.

> The fourth C of Right Choices: Count on God’s Protection and Provision

Living to God’s holy standard brings us many spiritual blessings, including freedom from guilt, a clear conscience, and far less drama than we will experience if we live to our own standard. God also promises to bless us physically, emotionally, psychologically, and relationally — in his timing, and in his ways.

Take joy in the fact that you’re spiritually maturing every time you choose to make a right choice that align with God’s nature. Your choices, especially your moral choices, matter more than you realize. Because they have a supernatural component. Some of your choices will ripple out, others could hold the power of tsunami waves.

“As followers of Christ,” notes Josh, “we need to learn how to resist our natural tendency to decide for ourselves what is right or wrong and choose God’s way.”

Next Steps

> Do you want to know more about God’s loving nature? Start here.
> We invite you to read Josh’s book, More Than a Carpenter, to understand the depth of God’s love for each of us.

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