Lately, I have been thinking a lot about choices. Specifically, what it means to choose to do the things that I don’t necessarily want to do. Today, I was encouraged once again by the writings of C.S. Lewis. In the book Mere Christianity, he writes:
“People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules, I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’ I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, that part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature… each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”
I was reminded of something I wrote a few months ago, but had forgotten about until now. I’d written:
“The majority of the life of a believer is made up of small circumstances and situations. Our character is not so much developed by our responses during times of crisis, but by our responses to the ordinary. Every small thing in our life presents us with another opportunity to draw closer to God, another opportunity to fellowship with Him. Each time I am faced with a new situation, or a difficult circumstance, I am presented with an opportunity for kingdom growth.”
In that post, the message was about faith and prayer. But it is just as applicable to any area of our lives that need to change. Each small victory that we gain over an area in our lives – no matter how trivial it may seem – is another step toward holiness. Committing myself to keeping my dishes washed will not make me an excellent housekeeper. But each time I rise above my own wants and desires (and laziness!) it becomes that much easier to overcome my sinful habits the next time the trash needs to be taken out, or the floors need to be swept. The more small victories over this selfish, sinful nature I have, the closer I am to becoming the person I want to be. Though it is a struggle now, the more victories I have, the stronger I become. The stronger I become, the less effort it takes to win the next battle, and eventually to win the war.