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Monday, March 15, 2021

Choosing What You Know Is Good

By Joe Chesser
 
    Learning isn’t easy.  It involves thinking, exploring, and experimenting.  Along the way you will have successes and failures.  You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.  You’ll experience some good things and some not so good things.  But the goal of learning is to start making better choices in life.
    Some lessons you can learn rather quickly.  Usually touching a hot stove one time is enough to teach you not to do it again.  Sticking the tweezers in an electrical outlet one time is usually enough to learn that lesson, too!  On the other hand, learning to choose good friends or to always tell the truth may take a bit longer.  But again, the goal of learning is to eliminate the pain and hardships of life and to replace them with things that are pleasant and beneficial.  Growing up is learning to consistently make good choices.
    The same process is true in growing to spiritual maturity.  This is essentially what Paul said to the Thessalonians: “Test everything.  Hold on to the good.  Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).  The mature Christian has learned to choose what is good more often than he used to.  The immature Christian is still trying to learn what the good choices are.  You see this in the way people struggle in living consistently for the Lord.
    For example, it is always a good choice to attend all the worship and Bible classes faithfully.  Those who choose to do so usually grow to Christian maturity.  Not only do they receive strength from being in the presence of God, they also receive the instruction and encouragement they need from their fellow Christians to make better choices when they are not assembled with the church.
    Most Christians know this, but far too many fail to make this one simple choice that would enrich their whole lives.  Instead, they let other things interfere with choosing what is better, especially the evening assemblies (things like TV shows, kids’ sporting activities, yard work, company, and simply just preferring to stay home).  Church attendance does not guarantee spiritual maturity, but it does give you the opportunity to learn how to grow to maturity.  As it says in Hebrews 10:24: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”  We all need the encouragement from fellow Christians to keep on loving and keep on serving the Lord.  It’s not just a coincidence that the very next verse is the one that instructs us to be consistent in church attendance: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25).  You just multiply the difficulty of growing in love and service to the Lord, of growing to spiritual maturity, when you do not choose to do what you know is good – to meet often with the church.  There’s a reason why in-person worship and study is better than virtual worship and study. God blesses those who make good choices.
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com


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