Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Conundrum Of Consequences and Choices



Awhile back I saw this video discussing why choices should be limited.  Or more like, why we shouldn't create more choices. While the guy made points that sounded good, they were in fact rooted in man's philosophy and not God's truth.

Before I explain, let me rant:

You don't fix stupidity by taking away choices.  It's not about choices but what we choose. Idiocy isn't fixed by a forced utopia.

First, you don't need to watch that podcast. In fact I don't recommend listening to it as it's not all appropriate. I'll explain everything that it says in the following paragraph: 

There is an accepted belief that people perform better if they have more choices. With this belief people create more and more, so that there are now 175 different salad dressings. And has this helped people improve, make better choices? No, it has made them stop and wonder... "Wait, what if I choose the wrong dressing?" And so this goes on to identity, work, life. At one time it was accepted that everyone would take the occupation of their surroundings, marry someone close by, have kids. But now we have choices about what job, what spouse (if you marry), and how many kids (or do you want a pet... or do you even want kids?). And with so many options there's more chance of regret. "Maybe I should have done that...?" "Or I would rather be doing-" Basically, the video says that more choices paralyze and don't give satisfaction, for there's too many expectations to meet , too much to live up to, and it creates a life of constant struggling and searching for the "best choice" when once upon a time humanity was content with the only choice they had: surviving.

And it took me twenty minutes to listen to that ;D Though the video is certainly entertaining. Plenty of cartoons to laugh at, witty quotes to make you think you agree. "The secret to happiness is low expectations. Settling isn't always a bad thing." I actually both agreed and laughed with that former quote.

But is this all good? Is limiting choices truly the answer to better satisfaction in life? 

First, let me ask you this question, who gets to decide which choices are worthy of being allowed to remain? Who decides which salad dressing stays on the shelf, the rest to be discarded?

Who decides which choices we shouldn't have? 
And who gave us the right to choose? Man or God?

The ideology of this video is appealing because we all hate nasty consequences. All choices lead to something happening. Cause and effect. We hate that what we choose means something is going to happen. We wish for that something to always be good, but reality is not so nice.

"If I do this... what will happen? To me? To those about me?" 

And even if we choose wisely... what if those around us don't? Other people's actions can still hurt us, even as we do nothing to engage upon their consequences. Consequences, that fearful word. It would be nice to control choices so that we don't have to worry about hurting ourselves, ruining our lives. Or having others ruin out lives.

Now, from  my previous post I've done on marriage  you'd think I'd agree partly to this podcast. And I do. I agree in that I think people are choosing the wrong choices, with wrong motives.

But choices aren't the problem. People are. We are the problem. 

Just like with divorces, marriage isn't what needs eradicated, men and women's hearts need to cleaned, their eyes opened to the ways of God. 

Yes, we wonder, "What should I do with my life? What career do I choose. Where do I eat? What do I eat? Who should I marry? Do I love this person? Where should I live?"

We make wrong choices. We forget to back up our decisions with scripture. We forget that it's not about what we do, but why and for whom we do what we do.  

Take away choices... and people will still be discontent. Were people content when they had no options a few centuries ago? Were they truly satisfied with taking up their father's work? Marrying the only eligible person? Some were, yes. But only because they chose to accept their life. But not most. It's in our sin nature to be discontent, to want more.

Monitoring choices does nothing, except allow some man to have control in place of God. It will not create a better world to make choices limited.

And that's why options are made, why people decided to have more opportunity and pursue it. Multiple choices didn't happen overnight... there was an issue, and instead of turning to God men tried to fix their problems by making taking their life into their own hands... that didn't work... "So, let's go back to how things used to be."

Back? No. God gave us this world, not to hide it under the rug, but make it prosper and grow. Going back and forth doesn't help. We need to grow, change, understand.

Choose, but choose knowing God. Don't be like the servant in Matthew 25:14-30 hiding away what you're given just because it's too dangerous to choose, decide what to do. No, trust God and not yourself. Don't be ruled by regret. Don't try to rule stupidity by controlling choices

Your consequences will affect you. They will affect others. So choose wisely. But don't stress, don't control. Trust God. 

I've recently finished reading a book by Jeff Myers and David Noebel called Understanding the Times.  Here's a quote: “From a Christian view, Utopian visions are a pure fantasy. Christianity is not Utopian.” 

This is one thing to always remember. We want things better, we want to do our best. But it boils down to this, humanity is corrupted. A perfect world is not possible. Nothing man can do will help (remember, we are corrupted). Someone choosing what choices we have is most certainly not the key.



What do you think about choices? About consequences? Should anyone be allowed to decide which options we have? Should choices be limited to prevent an indecisive society? To prevent people from making bad choices? 

8 comments:

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