How Our Choices Affect Our Souls

In America, we live in a land full of choices. We take pride in this fact. We enjoy the doing something “just because we can.”

But rarely do we consider how those choices are affecting our souls.

If we’ve determined to follow Jesus, then we have been called to consider the cost.

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:24-27, NIV)

I’ve heard this passage preached many times, but the speaker is usually using it as a platform for encouraging new followers. But I think this sells short the message Jesus was proclaiming.

It isn’t costly just to join as a follower; it’s costly to live as a follower of Jesus. (Click to tweet)

Jesus gives His followers many important things to consider here, but we’ll focus on a few:

  • Count the cost. Following Jesus is very costly, and he wants us to consider what following means in totality. Taking up our cross cannot possibly mean the Christian life is about comfort. Instead, it involves passion, burden and sacrifice. But, Jesus goes even deeper in Verse 26 to the day-to-day pursuits and challenges us see all of life differently. Every choice we make will have an impact on our soul. There is no neutral territory. What we do, how we do them, what we buy, what we cut back — it’s important for us to count the cost.
  • Die to self. Since the Fall, we are bent toward selfishness. We go into a situation with the underlying question: What’s in it for me? Yet this was never a question in the mind of Jesus – the One we claim to follow. Like Jesus, we are given a choice as to how we live our lives, but God has outlined for us the way of blessing. It involves our obedience to The Great Commandment (Matt. 22:34-40) — Loving God and Loving Others. This isn’t just a generalized “life mission.” It’s something that we should consider with our daily decisions. Will purchasing this T-shirt reflect my love for God and love for others? How will my career change reveal my heart for God and heart for people? Every decision we decide whether it’s going to be all about us or all about God and others, and every decision will feed selfishness or selflessness in our soul.
  • Give an account. As followers, we make ourselves accountable to our Leader. Jesus not only searches our hearts (Matt. 9:4), but He will also come back one day to reward His followers (Matt. 16:27). While we don’t have to work to earn God’s love, we do good works to live out the love we’ve received. The way we choose to live our lives and focus our attentions is laid bare before Him. Even if no one around us asks, Jesus will: Andrew, how are things going with your soul?

Every choice we make will cost us something, and our souls will be affected.

May our choices today reflect the selfless life of Jesus whom we follow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Repost/Reprint

    If you would like to repost an entry from my blog on your blog or website, please include a link to the original post. If you would like to reprint an entry, please request reprint permission. Thanks!
  • Contact Info

    Message me on
    Facebook or Twitter

    Email:
    andrew.hedges@yahoo.com
  • Archives

%d bloggers like this: