Overcoming Bad Choices and Their Consequences

Bad ChoicesChoices are something that we make on a daily basis.  Of course, the objective is to make wise and good choices.  Unfortunately, at times, we make bad choices.  The thing about choices is that they all have consequences.

Every choice you make will have a positive or negative effect on your life.  It is true that sometimes making  the right choice in a situation will affect you adversely, even though you did the right thing.  But we need to do the right thing anyway.  

Making wrong choices consistently will always lead to bad consequences that will ultimately affect our lives in a very negative way.  Plus, we will always cause others to suffer from our bad choices.  

What do you do when you find yourself in a bad situation because of making bad choices?

1. Take ownership of your choices.

Flip Wilson, a comedian popular in the 1970’s, was famous for saying “the devil made me do it.”  Many of us would like to blame our choices on the devil or another person.  Many people do blame other people for their decisions.  The problem with this thinking is that no one can make you do anything.  You decide on your own what you are going to do.  

If you are going to pick up the pieces of your life after making a bad choice, or a series of bad choices,  you have to start by taking ownership of that choice.  You made it.  You got yourself where you are.  You must own it.  

2. Realize that some choices will take a long time to overcome.

Some bad choices that we make only have a very short-term negative consequence.  Other times, our choices will affect our entire lives, and possibly the lives of others.  If you find yourself in a deep hole after a bad choice, realize you can get out of the hole but it may take you  a long time and a lot of hard work.  Be willing to stick with it, listen to the advice of those who love you, and don’t give up.

3. Your failure is not fatal.

We must always remember that God is a restorer and a redeemer.  We may think that the bad choice we made, and the negative consequences of that choice, will be our ruin.  But God is able to bring redemption to our mess.  God is able to take our mess and turn it into a message of hope and deliverance for someone else that is going through their own negative consequences.

There have been many people who have failed because of a bad choice.  You only become a failure if you give up.  You cannot fail if you keep moving forward.  Remember, as long as you are alive then your story is still being written.  As long as you are alive, God has time to redeem your choices.

4. Don’t live in the past.

All of us have made choices that we wish we could go back and change.  But we cannot.  We can only learn from those mistakes.  Sure, they may have been very costly mistakes but sometimes the price of education is very high.  

Those mistakes are in our past.  Our present may be the result of those choices, but the choices we make today will be our tomorrow’s reality.  Choose to live in the present, not the past.

It’s best to learn from the mistakes of others and try not to repeat their mistakes.  It’s wise to listen to those that have been down a similar path to avoid the pitfalls that come from making bad choices.  Don’t allow your pride to stand in the way of listening to someone else.

If you are in the pit of despair because of a bad choice (or a bunch of bad choices) know that there is hope.  God wants to get you out of your pit.  You just have to be willing to trust him, put forth the hard work that it’s going to take to get out of your pit, and know that it is possible.

What about you?  Have you ever made a really bad choice?  Care to share your lesson learned?

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