The Fear of Making Choices

My freshman year of college I often went to grab food with one of my guy friends. Without fail, every time he would pose me with the question…”What do you want to eat?” And EVERY time I could never respond. I would always say, “Well what do you want?” and he would respond, “That’s not what I asked you…” this argument would circulate relentlessly. He would give me choice after choice and I would never say yes… that’s the thing I’m really good at telling you what I don’t want… After a good two months of these frustrating conversations he finally stopped asking me and just chose the place we were going to eat. This huge wave of relief would come over me because I was no longer faced with the choice. I was no longer under the pressure of choosing a place he hated because it was something I wanted or choosing a place I hated because I knew he loved. The pressure of making the wrong choice was no longer on me.

Now I know all that seems so silly because in reality it is, but it made me realize something so much deeper about myself and Jesus…

When faced with choices I often analyze every aspect of the situation, no matter how big or small the choice or outcomes may be. I will change clothes 14 times in the morning because I’m afraid I will be too hot or too cold for 30 minutes of the day that I’m outside.

This is where my view of God gained it’s perspective. In a broad sense (i.e. don’t over analyze this) but God and our life story can be seen in three ways.

  1. Our life is a blank canvas: Big, white, and blank. God is hands off, He’s given you the freedom to make the choices of colors, designs, paths, etc. to make your life as you choose. No rules, no guidelines, whatever you paint is the life you make for yourself.
  2. Our life is a color by number: A big solid picture that has a specific color to each space and if it is not done the exact color the picture if ruined. (i.e. if you do not make the exact choice God intends your entire life story God has planned for you is altered and ruined forever.
  3. Our life is a coloring page: It contains the lines, much like a big puzzle, but we have the freedom to choose how to color it in.

The problem with the first scenario is that God is not hands off. He clearly has a plan for each individual person’s life and is very clear about the way we should live by providing us the Bible for guidance and direction.

Option number 2 is where I have often resided, and at times still do. The fear of making the wrong choice, coloring the wrong number, will have God shaking His finger at me and I have ruined myself from what He had planned. This is the legalistic view of God and it is missing something HUGE…it’s missing the relationship!

But option number 3 is real! It is the God who has a plan, he has a perfect design that we cannot destroy, he gives us freedom to make choices and as long as the choices do not contain anything that directly goes against the Bible then we are acting according to His will. We are able to color our picture however we choose. This is where the relationship exists. Seeing God in this view allows us to enjoy the life He gives us instead of stressing over it. It allows us to freely walk in His presence daily.

I’ve often made decisions out of fear, out of guilt, or out of the sole desire to please someone else. This is not a place you want to be friends, that I can promise you. The bible tells us that if we seek Him with our full heart He will guide us.

Proverbs 2:2-5 says, “…making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.”

The devil wants us to fear the choices we make, he places doubt and fear into our minds that we made the wrong choice and are forfeiting something good and great from God. But God says to our hearts, “Blessed is the one who trusts me” (Psalm 84:12).

Friends don’t second guess the Holy Spirit, because perfect love has cast out fear (1 John 4:18), and God has your entire life in His hands!

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