What Sort of Sorting Do You Do?
Sorting things out is a fact of life. It’s the means by which we determine value, put things in their proper order, give meaning to our priorities. The person who makes good choices, based on his ability to sort things out, is considered to be wise. The person who sorts things out based on his own instincts is not wise, and in the end will reap poor results (Galatians 6:7-8). Good choices are based on good sound, spiritual reasoning.
Man’s inherent ability to choose–to sort out, to compare, decide, determine–is what differentiates him from all the rest of creation. Man alone is fitted to choose of his own will. Dogs operate on an assigned frequency, so do birds and bees, rocks and rills. They have no choice. But people do. They are designed for choosing. Man operates in a purely autonomous realm. He is free from the restraints of necessity. He has control of himself. As we said, he can meditate, weigh, compare, and then decide on a course of action. Having made his choice, he may then decide when and how he will accomplish what he has decided. It should be carefully noted, however, that man is responsible for the choices he makes. God will hold him accountable for his choices.
Good choices are the result of careful comparisons, properly sorting things out. Man has been given what he needs to make good decisions (2 Timothy 3:16-17). A good Christian can and must make good choices. For instance, he must compare himself to that divine directive and, if he sees any deficiency or any required course of action, he must then take whatever steps that are necessary to keep himself going in the right way. And it is a continuing process. After having been baptized into Christ, the saved person must then bring his inclinations and affections into a spiritually-based life of love and service (Colossians 3:1-5).
And how foolish for a person to decide to sort out his own values without the help of the divine directive. It’s like going somewhere when you have no map to guide you. Without divine direction, we don’t know which way to go or which way to turn. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:12, warns us about such a course. "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some, who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." Fact is, when you’re the standard yourself, and you want to do something that’s not part of the standard, all you have to do is change the standard so that it fits the choice. How foolish!
But, you know something? It’s not easy to judge yourself with objectivity–even if you’re a mature Christian. If we’re not careful, we’ll come up with some excuse so that no matter the problem, we’re not at fault. Oh, we may make some judgment which will "get us out of a jam" or make us look good again; but in the long run, subjective reasoning is a poor standard for wise decisions. Remember that passage about sowing and reaping? We have to learn to view ourselves as we really are–even if it hurts.
And could I ask a question? What would you think of a man who, having sure and viable directives set before him, deliberately chooses the wrong direction? Foolish, you say? That’s man. Paul must have had that sort of man in mind when he said, "...because, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened...and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which were not fitting" (Romans 1:21, 28).
You see, God will not force you to choose Him. You are free to chose whatever course you want to pursue. But you better "be sure your sins will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). You can’t hide from God (Genesis 3:8-10).
"Choose you this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15). It’s a daily obligation. You don’t just choose once and you’re through. You have to choose Him over and over again.