by Rick Warren — January 6, 2020
“Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. I am commanding you to be loyal to the LORD, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16).
What do I mean by that? It’s easy to think your life is defined by what happens to you. But the truth is that your life is defined by the choices you make.
It’s undeniable that bad things happen all the time. We live in a broken world. You don’t always choose right. Other people don’t always choose right. We all get hurt.
But what happens to you is not nearly as important as the way you choose to respond. Some people are built up through difficult situations. Other people are broken by them. For some people, a bad experience is a stumbling block. For others, it’s a stepping-stone.
If you take two people and put them in the exact same pain, one may succeed while the other fails. Why? Because of the choices they make.
You cannot control many of your life circumstances, but you can control how you decide to respond. You can choose whether things make you bitter or better.
Think about your future. Where do you want to be in 10 years? In 20 years?
Without even knowing you, I can tell you where you’re going to be. Just tell me what you’re choosing right now. The choices you make today determine where you will be tomorrow.
Wise people are always asking: What do I need to do today to get me where I need to be tomorrow?
The book of Deuteronomy tells how God gave his people a choice: “If you obey [me], you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:16 CEV). The children of Israel would make their choice, and then their choices would make them.
The same is true for you. God puts choices in front of you every day. What you do with your choices will determine the person you become.