My dear friend Mandy often passes along stories about her kids. She recently shared how as a parent she really tries to give her them choices. After listing several options to her two-year old daughter Meg (now a bit older–above), the response was, “Mommy, stop choicing me!”
We’re all like spunky little Meg sometimes. God says, “You can stay with me or you can go out on your own. You can have blessings of consequences. You can stay dry or get wet.” Sometimes free will doesn’t seem like such a good deal and our hearts say, “God, stop choicing me!”
You may be thinking, “But God didn’t give me a choice! I never wanted to be in this storm.” That brings up an important distinction. Sometimes we don’t choose our circumstances but we can still choose our response to them. Joshua told the Israelite people, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” He didn’t say, “Choose how you will feel about this.” Instead he challenges them to decide who will be master of their lives, regardless of their emotions or situation. Your feelings and circumstances will try to be the boss in your life. They’ll give you convincing evidence that you should be dominated by them.
God sets an example for us of how to make proactive choices. In Boundaries: When to Say Yes When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend says, “God defines Himself as a distinct, separate being and He is responsible for Himself. He defines and takes responsibility for His personality by telling us what He thinks, feels, plans, allows, will not allow, likes and dislikes.”
Not everything in the world has turned out the way God wanted. He didn’t desire for sin or suffering to be part of our existence. But He doesn’t allow those things to change His character. He continues to make choices based on who He is despite what we do. We are made in His image and He wants us to do the same.
But no matter what we decide, God’s unconditional love will still be there. Mandy loved Meg from the first moment she discovered her daughter existed. Meg’s choices will not change that love, although there are definitely options Mandy would prefer for her daughter’s life! God relates in a similar way to us as His children. Because He values relationships over rules, our Heavenly Father will never “stop choicing us.”