The Next Right Choice
Titus 2:2 Be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
Some days, I find myself despairing over the discrepancy between what I am and what I want to be. I read a list like this and sigh, That does not sound like me at all. When will I get there? I feel like my personality traits are the exact opposite of this passage. I am impulsive when I should display self-control. I am full of self and resentment when I should be full of God and His love.
Then, I realize that this is not the exception but the rule. I am in a process of becoming, as we all are. I am not there yet and it is necessary for me to be comfortable with that reality. Realizing I am not there yet, is the beginning of growth. I must accept this truth, or I will forever be stuck in a state of arrested spiritual development.
Denying my defect and need for growth paralyzes me, as in my pride, I convince myself that I have arrived and do not require change. As I said, some days, it bothers me that I still require growth, but then I realize the reality that Paul taught. I can be better than who I am.
If I want to live the life I am supposed to live, this is as close or as far away as my next right choice. It is in despair and futility that I see living right as some far-off fantasy. Paul insisted that living right, is something that I must do here and now. I need only to make the next right choice.
This often requires me to acknowledge that my natural or first impulse is wrong. First thought, wrong thought, I learned in treatment, describing the impulsive thinking of the addict. I must accept that I am not there yet, but that I do not have to stay where I am. I can choose the next right choice and I can daily grow in my faith.