The greatest gift humanity has been given is the ability to choose. America saw choice as the most powerful expression of freedom, so they wanted to spread democracy to every nation in the world. Unfortunately, many nations have chosen oppression and control over freedom, so have rejected the western value of democracy.
I was not old enough to be a part of the holiness movement that swept the church, but what I heard is that it was a time of external changes that made one look holy. Women were told to be holy they could not wear pants or jewelry, men were told not to play cards or dance, and those who did not do these things were considered holy. Fortunately, this “movement” did not last long, for they learned that external changes do not change a heart.
Choice originated with God Himself, for He knows that without a choice, there is no real love. When people are forced, coerced or commanded to do something, they do it out of fear of punishment, not out of a heart that wants to obey. Jesus quoted Isaiah saying, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…” (Matthew 15:8 and Isaiah 29:15).
If we try to take away people’s ability to choose, we are actually taking away their freedom. I believe the ability to choose is going to be what brings about the demarcation between those who love the Lord and those who don’t. Choices reveal who we are, what we love and what we value. God has always valued the ability to choose. He allowed Adam and Eve the choice to eat or not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden (Genesis 3); He allowed Jesus the choice of dying on the cross or not in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22); and He allows us the choice of life or death, blessings or curses (Deuteronomy 28).
Choice is the most powerful gift we have been given. For choices have rewards and consequences. We cannot blame anyone else for our choices, for no one has the ability to take away your power to choose. Love is a choice, life is a choice, and every choice we make comes from our heart. If you don’t like what you see in your life, choose to do something different, make a different choice. He lays before you blessings and curses, life and death, but the choice is yours.