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We face a difficult reality when we try to help a hurting person find hope and healing, but they refuse our efforts. We have a certain advantage when dealing with our children, because we have the power to enforce a certain response. That is not necessarily a good thing, because eventually they will make their own choices. We want them to learn how to make good choices.

The power of personal choice is amazing, because our choices can take us to the greatest life imaginable or to a life of loss and failure. While many of our choices are affected by the influence of other people, as adults, we are responsible for the choices we make, including how we will respond to the poor choices others made for us earlier in life.

In an ideal world, everyone would make good choices and the pattern would be repeated in each generation. That situation existed from the time God created Adam and Eve until they made their first major choice – to obey God or to follow the counterfeit god Satan. The influence of evil in our choice making has been a problem ever since.

We are privileged to know the God Who provided a way to get out of that pattern of failure, but we also know that He held that first couple responsible for their choice. The curse of sin has been, and continues to be, a reality since that day. But it is overshadowed by the promise of a Redeemer Who would provide the Way back to a perfect relationship with Creator God. While we cannot avoid the personal problem of sin that each of us inherited, we have the privilege of making the choice to follow or reject the Remedy.

When we do not make the right choice, we can decide to accept responsibility or to blame someone or something else. As I read the account of Adam and Eve, I see them choosing the blame approach. Eve blames Satan, while Adam blames Eve and ultimately blames God. If they had accepted responsibility for their wrong choice and were repentant, I wonder if God would have provided an immediate solution and given them another opportunity.

A challenge for many adults is to get past the influence of bad choices that other people made and come to a place where they accept responsibility for who they are today – and then make the proper choices. Regardless of the wounds we carry from what other people did to us, we have to own our life now and decide how we will choose to move forward. The “blame game” only brings more heartache and defeat.

Basic to all of our issues is the need for forgiveness, peace and rest. It is found in Savior Jesus, Whose invitation to us is recorded in Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all who are weary and work to exhaustion, and I will give you rest.” This is the place to begin the journey of making excellent choices.

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