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Doing Do-Overs Differently

By: Dr. Skip Myers
EdgefieldDaily.com Columnist

web posted November 8, 2007
COLUMN – Have you ever pondered the question, “If you had your life to live over what would you have done differently?”  I think many of us would be surprised at what we would change and just as surprised at the things we would want left alone. The course our lives have taken is a product of the choices we have made along the way. It would be great if life could be lived in a straight line that is pointed towards the Lord and we never deviate from that course. But unfortunately, most of our lives look like something a two-year old tried to draw on an Etch-a-Sketch.

Since life is a product of the choices we make, we can plot the straight lines that represent the good choices and the squiggly lines that represent the not-so-good choices. When we were making the choices that turn out to be rather squiggly, did we recognize the presence of an alternative or did we feel as though we had been left with only one choice? Many of us look back in review and realize that “hind-sight is really 20/20.”  It’s easy to look back and see that there were actually alternatives present that we did not see at the time.  And if we had recognized them, we would have made a much better choice.

One thing I have realized is that the Lord never leaves us without an alternative. Life will present us with an array of choices and temptations. It’s easy to ignore God’s alternative. All we have to do is focus on the temptation as if it is the only possibility. Then the only thing left is to follow its course and draw the squiggly line. All the while wondering where God was when we were making such a bad decision. 

Let me offer a few suggestions that might just help the lines of life to straighten out just a bit. First, realize that God is offering you an alternative. In every situation and every temptation, He is there to show us His will. His alternative may be designed to change the situation itself or it may be His way of changing us in the midst of the situation. Either way, the alternative is there because He is there.

Next, take your eyes off the temptation or the situation and focus on the Lord. We will never see the alternative if we aren’t looking for it. The best way to improve your focus on the Lord is to do something spiritual. Go to church, read the Bible, pray, and seek the advice of someone whose faith you trust. Now, there may not be time for all of that when faced with an immediate choice. But even then, we can pause long enough to pray and focus our minds on the Lord. Snap decisions are usually made with way too much emotion and bring about way too much regret.

Finally, learn to recognize His alternatives. Simply put they look like the Lord, act like the Lord, sound like the Lord, and feel like the Lord. What He offers us is always an outgrowth of His nature. Alternatives that don’t reflect His nature aren’t from Him. Learn what the Lord is really like. Get to know the truth about God. There’s plenty of wrong information being circulated. Find a good church and an understandable Bible and get to know the Lord.

Let me share with you one of my favorite verses.  I Corinthians 10:13:  No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.  God’s faithfulness to you will always offer you an alternative. That alternative will always provide a path into His presence so that you may know His love and strength in the middle of very trying times. What a God! What love He has for us! Come celebrate that love with us in His House this Sunday. It’s an alternative worth taking.

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