Recently a long lost relative made a visit home for a few days.
When he left, his life was a mess. He was enslaved by a number of addictions. He only worked long enough to earn the money required to fund his chosen lifestyle. Everyone close to him had to guard their valuables so he wouldn’t steal them.
Then someone very close to him died.
After that he took flight to a place 700 miles away.
Deep down we all hoped he would turn his life around. When we heard that he held a steady job, we were encouraged. He managed to avoid those brushes with the law that colored his life at home. He even settled into domestic life and had a daughter he came to love dearly.
We all thought he had really changed.
The trip home revealed something quite different. While he may have changed a little at first, those habits were deeply ingrained. Alcohol was his pain reliever of choice.
His family and friends pleaded with him to get help. He would agree to the point but continue to do the same thing. Hurting those he loved hurt him. So more pain relief was needed and more beer would be consumed.
Here’s a simple truth. In fact, it seems so obvious that it is often overlooked by even the smartest people. It’s not enough for you to want someone else to change. That person has to decide for himself that he wants to. Beg and plead all you want. Nag endlessly. Give them tough love. But until that person decides that change is what he wants, you will wish yourself down the river and over the falls.
The power of choice is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. We are free to make any choice we want. If you want to make sure your choices are well thought out, remember that you are never free of the consequences of the choices you make. The choices you make repeatedly lead to habits. Those habits lead to a lifestyle. Your lifestyle is what shapes your destiny.
Of course, if you’re not happy with your life, you are free to make new choices whenever you please.
Choosing is the most powerful driver of personal change you have. What changes would you make in your life knowing you have the power to do so?