Choosing hell?

My friend, may I ask you a question? As odd as it seems, is choosing hell easier than it sounds. Perhaps when the devil gives each of us an excuse for rationalizing the guilt we fail to reckon our fault?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

Choices. We make them every day by the hundreds. One psychiatrist has suggested the average adult makes up to 800 every day. These range from turning off the alarm clock in the morning, to opting for a second helping of mashed potatoes for dinner. In between are a myriad of choices, some big, others small. We debate some, and others we chose by habit. In the end, however, choosing is something we do a lot of, perhaps more than any other conscious daily activity.

Many management-training courses recognize the importance of understanding “choice,” incorporating it into their curriculum. One trainer has put it: “When managers are trained to recognize “choice” situations, learning discernment and patience as they calculate good management choices, management styles are enhanced and better decisions are generated.” Sounds pretty basic; and, it ought to apply to making decisions in general. Right? How about sin? Are there decisions involved and, if so, how much does choice have to do with it?

Here’s a story: A woman died and went to heaven. “Choose heaven or hell,” said St. Peter. “That’s easy,” she said. “Heaven.” “It’s not that easy,” he said. “You have to spend a day in each place first.” With that, he sent her down to hell. There she found herself in a sunny garden, where former friends warmly greeted her. She had a great time laughing and talking about old times as well as an excellent supper in a fantastic restaurant. She even met the devil, who turned out to be pretty nice. Later she returned to heaven. The day in heaven was great as well. She lounged around on clouds, sang, and played the harp. At the end of the day, St. Peter asked for her decision. “Heaven was great,” she said, “but I had a better time in hell. I choose hell.” With that, she went back down. When the doors opened, she saw a wasteland covered in garbage and filth. When the devil walked over, she said, “I don’t understand. Yesterday, it was beautiful and I had a great time.” The devil smiled and said, “Yesterday, we were recruiting. Today, you’re staff.” (Author unknown)

The Bible declares: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death”(Proverbs 16:25). That passage from Proverbs is the key; sin is a choice, not something we fall into. Sin has nothing to do with happenstance and everything to do with deliberation. All too often these days in our fault-free, things must be fair society, when bad things happen they must be of some consequence as opposed to some fault. Sin is conveniently characterized as misfortune or, even worse, due to some condition we have no real control over. Nevertheless, the Bible is clear that sin is something we choose; and, since sin is really all about choice, the opposite is also true: we can chose not to sin. Ultimately, because God has given us the freedom to make choices, we can choose to make good ones or bad ones. When it comes to sin, however, a bad choice can turn recruitment (temptation) into a permanent staff situation in hell. A little discernment and patience as we contemplate each sinful risk can really come in handy. As odd as it seems choosing hell is easier than it sounds; especially when the devil gives us an excuse for rationalizing the guilt instead of reckoning the fault.

We pray. Our Father in Heaven. May your name be holy among men. Let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Give us our daily bread today. Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Do not allow us to fall into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

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God bless you for Jesus sake.

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