Forest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

But we all know the feeling when a friend hands you the box to pick just one out. You find yourself in quite the predicament.

Which one do I choose? There are too many options.

Options can often be paralyzing. You would think, “the more options the better,” but often we find ourselves struggling with this freedom to choose, and pressure to choose right. And options are literally everywhere. You find them when choosing a career, relationships, what to eat, what to watch, what to wear, hobbies, how to spend your time, what toys to play with, and even what church to participate in.

It can all be very overwhelming. I want to suggest that embracing some limitations in our lives can not only focus our lives on what’s important, but actually add value and blessing to our lives and instead of taking it away.

This is definitely true when we talk about walking obediently with our God. Sometimes we get the feeling that the rules God put in place are not ultimately with our good in mind, but they are indeed intended for our liberation. We are made aware of our need for the Savior, and by his gracious hands he places us on a path that leads to freedom from sin and bondage, and to find rest in the God-ordained abundant life he saved us for.

God gives us choice, we call this free will, but he doesn’t always give us options. He calls us to certain ways as we follow Him. These are not recommendations, but are non-negotiable. And He does this all out of love. What happens many times is that our abundance of other options (this perceived freedom) stands in opposition to our obedience to God’s unchanging Word.

And his word and his ways are so good for us.

10They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:10-11

Take a few minutes to sit humbly before God. Let Him examine your life, the options you have been choosing, and the ones you haven’t. What would God say are the “not optional” choices in your life?

Then talk with Him; ask Him for forgiveness for the times we have been inclined to choose our own options over and above his very Holy Word. And consider, where might you remove options (embrace limitations) in order that you may gain Christ and be found in Him.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
Philippians 3:8

Kyle Hines
Student Ministries Director