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Read A Sample
You Have a Choice
Hi there! I’m your new friend, Elizabeth. And I am soooo excited to be talking with you about the many wonderful choices you get to make as a girl after God’s own heart. I am really looking forward to being with you as you go through this important book that’s just for you.
To help me illustrate some of the many choices you get to make, I will be sharing a few stories from the life of a girl your age named Megan. Her choices, both good and not so good, will give you and me lots to talk about.
But before we look at Megan’s life and her choices, I want to talk to you for a moment. A great thing about being a girl your age is that you are now able to make some choices about yourself, your attitudes, your habits, your friends, and your hobbies and activities. You are in a fantastic stage of life where you can think, and study, and pray, and talk to others—all of which help you to make the choices God wants you to make about your time, your attitudes, and your activities.
Fun in God’s Word!
As we begin putting together a guide for making really good choices, you already know that life is full of choices. In fact, you have made a choice to start reading this book! My prayer is that when you are finished, you will see how important your choices are, and how they affect your present daily life as well as your future.
Yes, life is full of choices. Right now there are a lot of people in your life—like your parents and teachers—who are making choices for you. For instance, you have no choice where you live, where you go to school, what you study, and maybe even when you have to go to bed. But whether others make them for you, or you make your own choices, it helps to know what is involved in making really good choices.
So let’s see what God’s Word, the Bible, says about choices. In each chapter, we will look at Bible verses and answer some questions about the important topic covered in the chapter. Our goal is to let God teach us about how to make really good choices. So go find your favorite pen or pencil and keep it handy for writing down your answers as you look at verses from the Bible. We are going to spell out C-H-O-I-C-E-S.
Choices deal with your heart. There are lots of choices that you and girls like Megan can and will make for yourself. They are choices that deal with your heart, which then affect your attitudes and finally your actions. What do these verses say about your heart attitude?
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart (Luke 6:45).
What happens to the things you store up in your heart?
If the things are good...
If the things are evil...
There are lots of choices that are left up to you. Do you realize how many choices you make by yourself every day? Being kind to others, especially at home, is your choice. So is deciding whether or not to gossip about another girl. So is choosing to share your things with your brother or sister. And that’s making me think of a great choice you could make to help your younger brother or sister get dressed, find their shoes, and get buckled up in the car. And how about the choice to obey Mom and Dad the first time they ask you to do something?
On and on goes the long list of choices you get to make all by yourself. So the issue is not whether you are “allowed” to make choices: You are already making choices, with or without your parents’ input and approval. Wouldn’t it be great to have a “guide” to help you know how to make the right choices? Not just good choices, or better choices, but the best choices? Read on!
Having a plan helps you make good choices. Your choices for today started with the plans you made yesterday. For example, today you need to decide to set your alarm clock so it goes off tomorrow morning. And today you have to decide when you need to get up tomorrow so you can set your alarm for that time.
Think about what’s going on in your life tomorrow. Do you have a class report due? Is your flute lesson after school? Is tomorrow pizza day at school or do you need to take a lunch? And do you need to study for that big test that’s coming up next week? And don’t forget to ask Mom what else is happening tomorrow so you can add that into your plan.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit (Proverbs 21:5).
What does this bit of Bible wisdom teach you about the value of making plans?
Do you want tomorrow to be profitable? Do you want to be successful tomorrow? Are you tired of forgetting to do important things? Then let’s work on your plan for tomorrow! List what you know is happening tomorrow so you can start thinking about the choices you will need to make today:
Order your choices with God in mind. I hope before you finish this book you realize how important it is to always be thinking about what God wants you to do. God wants to help you make the very best choices. Read on to discover how He helps you do this:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God...and it will be given to you (James 1:5).
According to this verse, what is the best way to get God’s help and direction for the choices you must make?
What does God promise to do when you ask Him for wisdom regarding your choices?
Every day you have opportunities to make many, many choices. Don’t forget to include God in them. When you must make a choice, whisper to God and ask for His help: “God, what is the right thing to do? What do You want me to do?”Influence affects choices. What do I mean by influence? When someone or something affects the choices you make, you are being influenced.
For example: Have you ever wanted a specific pair of shoes just because your best friend got that very same pair of shoes? Or, do you watch a certain TV show just because it’s cool with the other girls at school? That’s influence—your choices are shaped by what other people do.
This brings us to another fact about choices: Choices are never made without influence. You may not realize it, but you are constantly being influenced by other people and your feelings when you make your choices. Your family, your friends, and even your own fears and pride have a strong influence on what you choose to do or not do.
Therefore, it is important for you to have people around you who are a good influence on you. Here’s what God says:
- Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
What happens when you are around the wrong kinds of people?
What kinds of people should you choose to spend your time with?
Here’s something to think about: Do you influence others for good or bad?
Choices have one of two results. I’m sure you already know one thing about choices—they always have results. Sometimes those results are good...and sometimes they are not so good! For instance, if you choose to spend all your allowance on candy, then you won’t have any money left when you see an awesome pen or bracelet or craft kit. Not having enough money for something useful and lasting—because you blew it on something you ate!—is a consequence of making a choice about the use of your money.
Let’s meet one of the women in the Bible who made a choice that still influences us today. You probably already know quite a bit about this woman. Eve was the first woman, the first wife, the first mom...and the first person to sin. The result of her sin is what we now refer to as “the Fall.” Here’s what the Bible says happened. Get your pen handy and mark away!
- And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden” (Genesis 2:16).
What did God tell Adam and Eve they could do?
“...but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17).
What did God tell Adam and Eve not to do?
What reason did God give Adam and Eve?
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Genesis 3:6).
What did Eve do?
Why did Eve do this?
So the LORD God banished him [and Eve] from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken (Genesis 3:23).
List two results of Eve’s wrong choice.
Talk about consequences! Because of Eve’s choice to disobey God’s specific instructions, sin entered the perfect world God had created. Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden and were separated from the presence of God.
Everyone’s choices are different.
For example, Megan’s friend Janice is allowed to make different choices than Megan is. Both of Janice’s parents work and Janice is at home alone for some of each day. This gives her more responsibility and more choices than Megan has. This doesn’t mean Janice’s choices are right or wrong, but they are definitely different from the choices Megan gets to make.
I’m sure you know lots of girls whose parents see things differently from the way your parents do. But you cannot compare your range of choices with those of the other girls you know. However, we do know one thing that God says about the choices you should make when it comes to following the wishes of your parents:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right (Ephesians 6:1).
Who is it God wants you to obey?
The choices other girls are making should not be important to you. What other girls do or don’t do is not your standard. Why? Because God has given you your parents—to guide you. Make this your principle: Your choices should come from standards set by God and the wishes of your parents.
Seeking advice helps you make better choices. Making really good choices requires you to ask for advice. The book of Proverbs repeatedly speaks about the foolishness of making choices without seeking the help of others. For instance,
- The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice (Proverbs 12:15).
In this verse, what word is used to describe people who do not ask for advice?
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