Sunday, December 23, 2012

Choose Wisely

Choose Wisely
December 24, 2012
Luke 10:42  ". . . Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

There is a relatively new branch of economic study call Behavioral Economics.  It is the study of the human behavior behind the economic choices and decisions that we make on a daily basis.  Thinking minds suggest that if we study how and why we make decisions then maybe we can learn how to influence those decisions for better financial outcomes.  Economics can be pretty boring, but Behavioral Economics is as interesting as the people it tries to explain.  Why do we prefer to buy things with a higher price tag, but only when they go on sale?  Why do we annually invest more money on consuming ice cream than into saving away for a rainy day?  How do we convince people to make better economic choices with their purchases?  If people made different economic choices, better choices, they might have better economic outcomes.  I, personally, find it very intriguing because I know that if I make better economic decisions, I will have less economic regret.

While the story of Mary and Martha at the feet of Jesus is not exactly Behavioral Economics, it is a lesson in behavioral choices with a resulting reward.  Jesus came to the house of the two sisters and found Martha busy preparing the meal, cleaning the house, and taking care of chores.  On the reverse side, He found Mary sitting at His feet, hanging onto every word He spoke.  Martha complained to Jesus and asked Him to rebuke Mary for not helping with the chores.  Instead, Jesus rebuked Martha for choosing poorly.  Martha chose to go about her busy work, fretting over details of the house and meal while she could have been gleaning from the wisdom of the Lord, the Savior.  Jesus knew the house work would always be there and He also knew His time on the was coming to a close.  It would have been a wiser decision if Martha had left the housework for another occasion and invested her time with the Lord at that moment.

Yes, there is housework to be done.  Yes, there are meals to be prepared.  Yes, there are many chores in life that are completely necessary.  Jesus was not saying that the work should never get done.  He was suggesting that the timing of them was not so critical.  He was suggesting that maybe Martha worried about those things TOO  much and TOO often.  She placed a higher importance on those things than on her relationship with the Lord.  This week is a great opportunity to choose how you invest your time with others and with the Lord.  It is a great opportunity to choose what is really important to you and what things can be given much less attention.  It is a great opportunity to choose something with a lasting effect rather than fretting and worrying over things that are really not that important.

When Jesus rebuked Martha, He told her that Mary had chosen well and she would be rewarded for it.  I like rewards; you probably do, too.  If we made better Jesus-type decisions we will garner greater rewards someday than if we invest our moments worrying about the frittata or the dirty grime.  Each moment is an opportunity to decide was is really important in life and what can be put off for later or altogether.  Each moment with our loved ones is a chance to evaluate our time spent with them, speaking into their lives the Truth of God's Word and avoiding frivolous gossip.  Each moment alone can be a moment with the Lord, getting closer to Him, sitting at His feet and hanging on every word He has for us.  Choose wisely, your future rewards depend on it.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  1 Chron 28:9, Ps 9:10, Ps 14:2, Ps 34:10, Zeph 2:3, Luke 10:38-42

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