Lesson 2: The Power of Choice Part 1
Focus Text: Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
God gave humans the power of choice. With those choices, however, come consequences.
Choices—we all have them, we all have to make them, and we all have to live with the consequences of the ones we make.
Hence, the important question for us all is: What will those choices be, and how can we know how to make the right ones? In this lesson we will look a little deeper into the power of choice.
Cause and Effect
Jackie and Carol (not their real names) were sisters, two years apart, who grew up together in a loving home. By the time she reached adolescence, Jackie was applying herself diligently to her studies. She did well and, after graduating from high school, went to university to study business. Today, she is in her mid-thirties, holds a responsible position with an investment company, is married, and lives comfortably in her own home.
Carol chose to party and enjoy herself. She dropped out of high school and began to experiment with tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Today she is a single mother, living on government assistance, in rehabilitation for her drug dependency, and remains slightly jealous—though grudgingly proud—of her sister’s success.
Both girls had the same opportunities, the same chances, and the same set of choices. Jackie chose one way, Carol another. Each now is living with the consequences of those choices.
Are there consequences that I face if I violate God’s laws both physical and moral?
Galatians 6:7 (KJV) “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Proverbs 6:27 (KJV) “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?”
Many expect that God would keep them from sickness merely because they have asked Him to do so. Do you think God will work a miracle to keep anyone from sickness who have no care for himself but are continually violating the laws of health and make no efforts to prevent disease?
The Reality of Freedom
Freedom is, in fact, a very complicated subject. The word means different things to different people in different contexts. It’s not always easy to pin down exactly what people mean when they talk about “freedom.”
One thing, though, is certain: when God created humans, He made them moral beings, and in order for humans to be truly moral they had to have moral freedom. In other words, they had to have the capacity to choose wrongly, if they wanted to. If they didn’t have that option, they really couldn’t be free.
Story of Adam and Eve's Fall: Read Genesis 3:1–6
In Genesis 3:1–6, we see the moral freedom given to both Adam and Eve. Why would God have warned them against eating of the tree unless they had been given the power of choice? Hence, we see perfect beings in a perfect environment allowed moral freedom. At the very foundation of human existence, the reality of our freedom has been made readily apparent.
In which areas of temptation did Adam and Eve both exercise free will?
It was through man's appetite that sin entered into this world and the enemy is still hard at work to destroy man by causing him to transgress the laws of health through his appetite.
What basic mistake did both Adam and Eve make?
How could they at each of these stages have made better choices?
How can we, with the knowledge of their mistakes, avoid making similar mistakes?
In what ways do we face similar temptations?
Human moral freedom must be something very important in the eyes of God. After all, just think about what our abuse of that freedom cost Him. So sacred, so fundamental, is this gift that, rather than deny it to us, God would go to the cross instead of leaving us to our demise because of how we misused this gift.
Consequences: Guilt, Fear, Shame and Blame
Imagine the utter despair and hopelessness of being condemned to death, combined with the anguish of knowing that you had caused the ruin of a perfect world. Even though Adam and Eve were devastated, God grieved even more deeply. He could foresee the hurts and sorrows His children would bear, and He was moved with infinite compassion.
Recognizing their sin, the parents of the human race were frightened, and they hid from God. Their carefree joy was replaced by a sense of guilt and foreboding and through sin they were changed. Thankfully, the loving Creator had not changed. He did not love them less. He did not stop caring for their welfare. Although He was deeply saddened by their actions, He sought to bring them comfort and the reassurance of His love. He gave them hope as He revealed a plan whereby their relationship could be restored (Gen. 3:15).
Important: One thing that we should never forget is that if we fall, if we make the wrong choices, God does not cast us off. The danger, instead, is that we can feel so guilty, we can feel so bad, that we are in danger of giving up. In such cases, our only hope is to cast ourselves at the foot of the cross and claim the forgiveness offered in Jesus.
Discussion Questions: Read Genesis 3:7-13
If you could define, in one word, what the couple experienced, what would that word be, and why?
How do we in our own experience today sometimes face the same thing?
What other emotion did they experience that they had not known before? Again, in what ways do we experience the same thing, and why?
Did God cause Adam and Eve to feel sorrow, or was it the natural consequence of disobedience? Explain.
In a sense, what we see in these verses is Adam and Eve attempting to hide from God what they had done or at least trying to shift the blame from themselves.
Of course, most folks who know the Lord know that it’s impossible to hide anything from Him. When the hairs of our head are numbered (Matthew. 10:30), we cannot fool Him about our actions. But we can fool ourselves, can’t we?
How easily we find ways to try to shift the blame on others. If only my boss hadn’t done this, then I wouldn’t have done that. If only my spouse hadn’t done this, then I wouldn’t have done that. If only God had taken away the temptation when I prayed, then I wouldn’t have fallen. If only this, if only that.
Sure, we sometimes face powerful temptations, temptations that pull at the very fabric of our being. The situation is worse, too, because we already come with corrupted and fallen natures, which makes it that much easier for us to succumb when tempted and tried. As bad as sin is, as bad as the consequences often are, we make it worse when we refuse to accept responsibility.
After all, how can we overcome our guilt, fear and shame if, in our own minds, we don’t take the responsibility ourselves for it?
How open are you to accepting responsibility for your wrong choices?
Or do you always find ways to blame others for it? If so, when are you going to stop and take responsibility for your own actions?
Are we predisposed to a certain lifestyle based on our genes? Do you blame your genes for your sickness and disease?
For more Bible Lessons on Health click HERE.