Why our blessings depend on our choices

Good morning again from Colorado Springs. Today is our last day at this writing conference, and I have to say this has been the most encouraging experiences I’ve ever had at one of these things. I will try to blog about it separately some other time, but I have been extraordinarily impressed with the teachers, the attendees, and the facilities at this conference/workshop.

The verse this morning is Proverbs 23:24.

24 The father of godly children has cause for joy.
What a pleasure to have children who are wise.

I really believe that children are born with a desire to please their parents. Depending on the child, and depending on the parents, some succeed and others don’t. I think a lot of it has to do with how easy it is to please a parent. If a child tries over and over and over to make their mom or dad happy and they never are able to do it, they’ll eventually give up. But if their mom or dad are too easy to please, the child will never strive to achieve anything truly great. So, just like everything else in life, there has to be a balance.

I’m not going to wax eloquent on child-rearing because I don’t have children, so my credibility on such a topic is probably questionable. But anything I believe about children and parenting comes directly out of Scripture. So I guess it’s not really my opinion anyway.

In any case, I know people who have wise children. Do you? I don’t know what it is about children who display wisdom but it’s refreshing, encouraging, and moving. It makes me smile. And I know it makes their parents happy. Well . . . beyond happy. Joyful.

For a parent to have a child who has accepted the truth of Scripture and is actively seeking God in their life is a huge, amazing blessing. Because that parent can take comfort knowing that their child will reap the benefits of leading a godly life. That even though their child may reach places in their life that are dark or scary or depressing, that as long as God leads them, that child will follow and God will protect them. Is there a bigger blessing than that?

I know the joy I felt when any of the students or children I worked with made wise choices. If that’s anything like what a parent feels, I don’t think there’s any feeling like it. You just want to leap and shout for joy and praise God all day long because you can see that someone else has the opportunity to experience the same great things God has taught you.

But I got to thinking. God is our Father. So doesn’t this work for Him too? Doesn’t God rejoice when we make wise decisions? I think He does. And, boy, would I love to see God rejoicing about something. Wouldn’t that be incredible?

Personally, I’m a people pleaser. I like to make people happy. But there’s a big difference between making people happy and bringing them joy. And if you want to bring God joy, just make wise choices. Obey Scripture. Live your life to love others. Trust God no matter what.

That may sound simplistic, but how complicated is it? Most of the time in life, you only have two choices. You have the right choice, and you have the wrong choice. Sometimes you have more than one right choice, and that’s great. But it doesn’t always work that way.

When you’re faced with a wrong choice, why would you make it? To make yourself happy? To please yourself? Sure. Why not? It’s your life, and it’s your choice. Absolutely.

But understand why making wise choices brings God joy:

When we make wise choices, that means He is able to bless us. He is able to give us good things. He is able to provide for us in ways that show us exactly how much He truly loves us.

When we make wrong choices, we prevent Him from doing that.

We don’t bring Him joy by making wise choices because He demands that we obey Him. It’s not that He’s up in heaven on some ego trip, totally dedicated to making sure that our lives are no fun whatsoever. No.

God loves us. And as our father–as our Daddy–He wants to give us good things. But He needs to be able to trust us. And if we can’t be wise with what He’s already given us, how can He trust us with the boatload of blessings He really wants to give us?