Making Healthy Choices
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
I know from painful experience that a life of following me is miserable. I impulsively want that which tastes good, but which in the end is self-destructive. The most obvious manifestation of this has been my drug addiction, but even now that I’m sober, my first impulse is often the wrong one. Recovery then, has been learning to stop, think, and choose the right thing, instead of the thing I want.
To this end, I get up early every morning to read, pray, and meditate, attempting to point my life at God instead of myself. In doing so, my life has been radically transformed. In 2014, I lost my job and nearly lost my family and career due to my addiction. Now, I’ve got my family back and I spend most of my time practicing addiction medicine. Following my way led me to disaster. Following God’s way led me to a joyful life.
You’d think I wouldn’t struggle with this anymore, but I still do. I wake up in the morning to read, pray, meditate, and I plan to follow God’s will for my day. Then I get up and head out the door and by the time I’m backing out of the driveway, I’m back in charge. There certainly is part of me that desires to filter every decision through God’s will, but there’s this other part of me that just wants to do everything my way. So, soon I’m back indulging in my selfishness, resentments, anger, pride, lust, and greed.
In today’s passage, Paul wrote that whatever we do, we must do it in the name of Christ. He didn’t mean that we simply do what we want and then add a “Jesus stamp” to it. He meant that in our daily decision making, we must run everything through the filter of Christ. Is this his will or is this my will? We often go to God only when we have a really big decision to make. Where should I go to college? What job should I take? We follow ourselves in 99% our daily decisions and then wonder why we don’t know God’s will when we only go to him with the one percent.
Making healthy decisions though is a discipline that we must practice every day if we want to know life and peace. I’m not saying we need to ask God what kind of toothpaste we should buy. I am saying we should look to God while we’re brushing our teeth, asking him what it is that he wants us to do today – and every day.