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The Choice is Ours

"So he [the business owner] called him and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'"1

I was a youth leader for 12 years. Many of the teens I worked with came from broken or dysfunctional homes. They had seen abuse, addiction, alcoholism, and longed for love and affection. In counseling these teens, I was able to walk alongside many of them as they worked to overcome their past, studied hard, went on to college, and today have healthy families of their own and are successful professionals. They love God, their spouses, and their children well.

However, there are also a few of these teens I once worked with who fell into addiction and continue struggling today. Many of them have children, but are not present for them. They were never able to resolve their past and this has affected their lives greatly.  

It's not what happens to us in life but how we react to it that makes the difference. Every human being in the same situation has the possibilities of choosing how he will react, either positively or negatively. It is not easy to break harmful cycles, but with God it is possible.

It is true that children who grow up in a warm, loving, and caring family atmosphere are given a much greater start in life. However, there is no guarantee that they will become model citizens. They, too, like the rest of us, either consciously or unconsciously, make the choice in how they are going to live their life.

If we grew up in a less than desirable home atmosphere, we can choose to feel sorry for ourselves, play the blame game, and limp along in the shadows of life without a goal or purpose—and waste our life. Or, like a young man I know who had an alcoholic father, we can choose to make something worthwhile with our life, grow through our difficulties, and with God's help become the person God envisions for us to be, and, in so doing, invest our life in a worthwhile cause and noble purpose. The choice is ours.

I realize that it can be very difficult to honor a mother or father who is an alcoholic, an abuser, or an abandoning parent. However, I believe the greatest way we can honor such a parent is not to allow our past to determine our future. What an honor it would be for all of us parents should our children rise above their early setbacks to invest their lives wisely in doing good for others.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to overcome any and all setbacks I may have had in the past, and choose—with your help—to invest my life wisely so that, when I give an account of my life before you, I will hear your welcoming words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.' Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Luke 16:2 (NKJV).

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.