Summary: Our choices have consequences-we must choose wisely.

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By Rabbi Dr. David L. Barsky

PLAY SONG “CHOICES” sung by George Jones

Once upon a time, there was a man who lived with his wife, two small children, and his elderly parents in a tiny hut. He tried to be patient and gracious, but the noise and crowded conditions wore him down. In desperation, he consulted the village wise man. “Do you have a rooster? asked the wise man. “Yes,? he replied. Keep the rooster in the hut with your family, and come and see me again next week.? The next week, the man returned and told the wise elder that the living conditions were worse than ever, with the rooster crowing and making a mess of the hut. “Do you have a cow? asked the wise elder. The man nodded fearfully. “Take your cow into the hut as well, and come see me in a week.? Over the next several weeks, the man - on the advice of the wise elder -- made room for a goat, two dogs, and his brother’s children.Finally, he could take no more, and in a fit of anger, he kicked out all his guest, leaving only his wife, his children, and his parents. The home suddenly became spacious and quiet, and everyone lived happily ever after. (Source: The Hope Health letter, Leadership, Winter 96)

Life is full of choices. What to wear—what to eat—what to watch—what to drive—where to live. But what does it mean to choose? Webster defines choose this way: to select freely after due consideration

To choose is deliberate—it is not by chance You’re approaching an intersection—you’re late ---in a hurry—the light changes–what do you do? And what consequences do you reap from your actions?

You’re at party –liquor is flowing freely – you are the designated driver—do you have a drink?

You’re on a diet – you’ve had your fill of salad and all that healthy stuff that tastes like you know what—do you sneak a candy bar?

Life is full of choices –and consequences

Go thru a red light -- get a ticket

Eat sweets –get cavities and put on weight

Drink too much—play huggy bowl

Sex out of marriage could be a death sentence

For every action there is a consequence.

Rob a bank –go to jail

Lie on your taxes—get caught

Tithe & reap or don’t tithe and say Why me Lord—why am I always broke

On and on and on

All day long we are faced with choices and the consequences of our choices. The only thing I can say with certainty is that we will not always choose wisely. We allow ourselves to be influenced by people and circumstances. Sometimes that is good and sometimes that tragic.

We’re a strange people –we love the counsel of man—but seldom seek the counsel of God. What fellowship does light have with darkness—yet we keep asking for worldly advise.

We choose to sue our brothers, we choose to avoid the poor, we choose to cheat on this and that, we choose to lie, and even steal. We love unjust gain—we’re litigious—sue, sue, sue, has become our motto—every auto accident is seen as a chance for a score—a windfall of unrighteous gain. It’s almost as though we have convinced ourselves that God is either not watching—or doesn’t care!

The Bible declares ---Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added unto you--- but do we?

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