It’s Who I Am: Responsible Choices

Apostle Richard James

How do you make decisions?  Roll a dice?  Shake your iPod?  Talk to a friend?  Deliberate for days and let the right decision come to the surface? Pray about it?  Do things spontaneously and suffer the consequences?

I have three young adult daughters. They are great people and want to do the right things. I have heard someone say that we can either do things right, or we can do the right things. For me this is a great way to make decisions that help to restore peace and justice, positively making decisions that make a difference. So whether you are deciding on big or small matters do the right thing.

I have recently returned from Ukraine where I was listening to young adults talk about how they make decisions. What are the overarching values that should enables us to make the right choices? It was a wonderful discussion in this cultural context of how our Christian discipleship shapes our decision making process.

One of the Community of Christ’s Enduring Principles is Responsible Choices:  Is it just a smart title, or do we really believe that God is interested in the choices we make in life. Can God help us, and in fact do the choices we make help us understand who we are.

Recently Ephim Brudsky, one of our Seventy in Ukraine wrote, “Author Alexandra Stoddard who wrote You Are Your Choices. If she is right I can use the Enduring Principle of responsible choices as a touchstone to understand who I am”.1

What a great idea! The choices we make show us who we are. It shows us our character, our moral fibre, and helps us become who we want to be. He then goes on to say do we choose the simpler and often easier option to make choices or do we opt for the choices that make a difference in our life and the world.  However, the simplest solution is not always the best choice.

There are significant problems in our world like injustice, war, poverty, hunger and we can make a difference. The choices that we make can positively and adversely impact the world in which we live. By being a disciple of Jesus Christ who chooses to make responsible choices, who involves God in the process, who builds up healthy relationships and enables good to triumph over evil, we can become people who will make this place better to live in – Zion the peaceable kingdom. The choices you make show what kind of person you are and who you want to be. Who are you? What do you want to be?

1. Herald article February 2010 – Ephim Brudsky,  Enduring Principles: Responsible Choices: Reflection, Discussion, Discernment: Community of Christ

Enduring Principle: Responsible Choices

– God gives humans the ability to make choices about whom or what they will serve. Some people experience conditions that diminish their ability to make choices.
– Human choices contribute to good or evil in our lives and in the world.
– Many aspects of creation need redemption because of irresponsible and sinful human choices.
– We are called to make responsible choices within the circumstances of our lives that contribute to the purposes of God.

Read the “We Share Document” with our 9 Enduring Principles.
Richard Colin Nephi James is a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles, the lead missionary quorum of the Community of Christ. He is assigned to the Eurasia Mission Field which includes the British Isles Mission Centre, Western Europe Mission Center, and Eurasia Mission Centre. His past assignments include serving as President of Seventy and the Missionary Coordinator for the North Atlantic Field (Europe/USA).  He lives with his wife, Claire, in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom and they have four children, Rachel, Hannah, Sarah and Joshua.  Richard is a native of Penllergaer, Swansea, South Wales, United Kingdom, and was previously employed as a Bank Manager before accepting full-time employment with the church.
Find him on Facebook.

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