This statement of Mary Baker Eddy riveted my attention this week:
“We cannot choose for ourselves, but must work out our salvation in the way Jesus taught.”
When faced with choices to make, how often do we pursue the option we want rather than humbly yield to what God wants?
Perhaps in heated argument with a spouse, co-worker or boss, we choose to hold blindly to our position rather than opening thought to wider possibilities.
Perhaps deep in resentment, we cling to our complaints rather than choosing to forgive.
Perhaps deep in debt, we choose to justify the mire and make excuses for it rather than making radical changes to our attitude and lifestyle.
Perhaps when ill, we choose to continue believing we’re ill instead of spiritually and mentally siding with health and demonstrating freedom.
The roster of choices we make everyday is long…to be patient or impatient, generous or stingy, cheerful or grumpy, selfish or unselfish, lazy or productive…
Eddy’s words, “We cannot choose for ourselves…” is a very sobering thought to consider, because we usually believe we can choose for ourselves, and that it is a virtue to choose for ourselves. But influenced by selfish desire, the human mind often makes poor choices.
She continues, we “…must work out our salvation in the way Jesus taught.”
Jesus did not pursue a selfish agenda. There was not one selfish bone in his body. He constantly lived to serve God, to work out the purposes of Love and live a life of spiritual integrity and truth. To live so incredibly unselfishly, he had to forsake all selfish desires, wants and ambitions. But his reward was eternal life, and there is nothing on earth worth pursuing to even compare.
So, we learn from Jesus. The better choice is always going to be the unselfish choice, the God-choice.
When we recklessly pursue selfish choices, we may feel like we’re succeeding, for a while, but eventually, we’re going to get slammed. The human ego is not a trustworthy guide or planner of long term happy, healthy, profitable living. It makes choices that lead down dead end roads and have to be reversed sooner or later.
The safer way is to be sure God is leading the way. And there’s no better time to start than today.
“We cannot choose for ourselves…” A desire for unselfish service to the purpose and intent of divine Love makes the better choice and leads to the best places.
5 thoughts on “Let God make the choice”
Thanks Evan. What I always struggle with, by being in service to others, am I sacrificing my own integrity and happiness? I guess the point is to be in service to God rather than others’ egos and agendas.
And on the other hand, by taking care of myself first, am I sacrificing to my own ego which is the wrong way to go. Again, if I am taking care of my own ‘higher’ Godlike self, watching my thoughts, taking care of this body (as long as I have it), ensuring that my life is balanced and the different parts of my life are in harmony . . . then the point is that I’m caring for the Bob that God made and sustains. (Love it when I answer my own questions.)
Good questions! I find answers in remembering what constitutes true individuality. It’s not a mortal existence that needs to be protected, sustained and improved materially. True identity and inidividuality are found in God’s image, which is an individuality that lives Love, expresses Truth and manifests Life. These are all unselfish, generous, get-out-ofmortal-self, outflowing activities. We can’t do them focused on caring for a mortal self. We have to get out of any sense of mortal selfhood, let go of ego entirely, and flourish in reflecting the divine Ego. It’s the ultimate freedom, and brings the greatest joy.
Soooo helpful!! And, I got to thinking when I read here that line from S&H that says we cannot choose for ourselves but must work out our salvation as Jesus taught us to, that it doesn’t really have to be read as a prohibition. It could, instead, be seen as a promise that we cannot screw this up, that whether we think we want to or not, we are unable to choose any other path except working out our salvation in the way Jesus taught! And, understanding that we are all, in reality, perfectly governed by the supreme law of Love, it makes at least some sense to read it that way, don’t you think? Anyway, as I sometimes struggle with most (if not all!) of the “sins” you mention despite what seem like my very best intentions to make only right and good choices, I found this perspective quite comforting.
Thanks for all your good work, Evan!
I’m enjoying today’s message and thanks to others for their insights as well–things to ponder more deeply. We cannot choose for ourselves…and yet how much time, energy, effort, thought, actions and activities are spent doing just the opposite of this and often to no avail! What a concept, too, that we can’t mess it up either! This gives hope and courage where fear and discouragement often prevail. Thanks so much.
Yes, BonBon (cute name!), I know what you mean.
Evan, I find your answer to Bob’s questions so spiritually nourishing and comforting. It reminds me of the advice to “turn [our] gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way” (S&H 248).
Or, to put it in two short words, “Wake up” (that’s the title of Friday’s Daily Lift by John Q. Adams).