Choices, choices, choices. Black or rose gold iPhone? The usual hairstyle, or try something new? A personal favorite, the plethora of options to build your Chipotle burrito bowl. Now, can you go wrong with any of these choices? Maybe. But the thing is, the consequences of a bad choice here are usually curable.
What about the time you made a really bad choice? Like one that was irreversible. We’ve all been there. For most of us, there’s a very real and haunting decision that comes to mind right away.
In this daily devotional, Irini Fambro walks us through how a choice she made clouded her identity in the moment, but how she learned to find the right guiding voice in that dark time.
Have you ever made the wrong choice before? I really don't think it takes long for you to be on this earth to probably answer yes. I've made the wrong choice, I know that sounds shocking, but I've made quite a few in my days. Some of them ended with normal consequences, like choosing a bad meal or thinking that bangs would work for me. But other ones ended with worse consequences. Consequences like shame, regret, and pain.
I want to look at Genesis 3:1-7 with you today. It's long, but hang in there.
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it lest you die.' "
But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. And she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths."
That wasn’t God’s voice.
When I think about a time that was really painful for me. It was my college years, and I had moved from Alabama to Indiana. I was really enjoying it. I had a successful first year, and in my second year, I might've gone back a bit unguarded. I'm sure I can name many different reasons, but what I know is that I made some choices in a relationship that I wish I hadn't. As the relationship with my boyfriend began to disintegrate, I made the choice to sleep with him.
When I think about it, and when I go back to it, man, I wish for a different choice. Man, if Jiminy Cricket could have popped in, that would have been so phenomenal. Don't do this. There were definitely friends that spoke up and were trying to wave red flags in my face, but I still chose it.
In that moment there was a voice and it was so tormenting. It said, this is it. God doesn't love you anymore. He's not there for you. This is never going to work.
And so, I made an even worse choice, and I had an abortion.
Can I say that I really debated even putting this out there? I've had conversations about it. But when you say “wrong choices”, it’s much easier to say that I chose a bad meal or I got some bangs.
But I really felt like I needed to be honest with you, because that's what you need today - someone who can be honest with you. I made painful choices, and that voice just kept tormenting me.
You're all by yourself.
You're the only one that's ever walked through this.
And you sit in that and you think, nothing good is going to happen from this place. No matter how much people want to sell things about who God is, nothing can happen from this place. That voice that I heard, the one that spoke shame, regret, hopelessness, and fear, that wasn't God's voice.
In this story, I actually found a name for that voice. In the story he's called the serpent. That word in its original text can also be called accuser. When you break that into the story, you actually pick up on why Eve is struggling.
Have you ever felt that accusing voice?
Have you ever wrestled that out?
I mean, when you think of it as a girl in a garden with a snake, you're like, man, shouldn't some red flags have gone up? Why are you talking to a snake? And did you know the snake beforehand? All these kinds of questions come up.
But once you call them the accuser, maybe you're more familiar with that relationship, with that conversation, with that dialogue. One where the accuser says, "Did God actually say that? I mean, really, did he really actually say he wants to partner with you? Did he actually say that he would forgive you?"
The conversation goes on. You begin to rehearse what God said. If you don't know, Eve actually adds a little to it because that's the dance the accuser gets you in. That accuser can drive you nuts.
That's where I was, in that really deep and dark place alone with the accuser, with no hope, with no place, with no partner. Exactly where he wanted me. Powerless and away from everything that can give me hope, because that's what isolation does.
I could sit here all day and feed on my phone, but you know what it does? It isolates me. Especially if I don't pick up the phone and call someone to say something about what I'm walking through. Otherwise, all I do is keep myself alone with the voice of the accuser.
I don't know where you are today, but I just took a risk in being very real with you. Could you take that risk? Is there someone you know? Is there someone that you can pick up the phone and talk to about a decision you’ve made or are currently facing?
And maybe you have to be honest like that. Maybe you have to say, "Hey, listen, I'm taking a risk, and I just want to step out because I have some things I need to share and I don't want to be alone."
God has put people around you to partner with, but most often, we choose to partner with that accusing voice.
Can you choose to listen to a different voice today?
Can I pray with you? God, I pray right now you would silence the voice of the accuser, and that you would speak. That you would speak through your word and you would speak through that phone conversation today. In your precious name. Amen.
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