If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you want to live a meaningful, God-honoring life. But if you’re like most of us, then you sometimes struggle to make choices that align with who you hope to become.
Fortunately, with God’s help, we can improve our decision-making skills. As we do, we won’t just make healthier choices, we’ll also find ourselves growing into deeper relationships with God and with others.
The choices we make matter. Not just the giant, life-defining decisions, but also the small decisions we make every day. As Pastor Craig Groeschel often says, “The quality of our decisions determines the quality of our lives.”
This article is designed to help you honor God with your choices. How? By examining seven decisions you can make today that will set you up for a God-honoring lifestyle.
What Does It Mean to Honor God?
God is our loving, kind, and all-powerful Father who is always present. He created every good thing we get to experience, and He includes all of us in His global family—the Church. He is worthy of our respect, honor, and sacrifice. But how do we do that? How do we honor God today?
The Bible has a lot to say about how to live a God-honoring life. In Micah, we see that God wants people to do justice, love goodness, and walk humbly with God.
Then, in the Gospels, Jesus gives us the ultimate perspective on how to honor God:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:36-39 NIV
Who do you want to be?
We honor God by loving Him and loving people with our whole lives. We don’t just perform for God or others. Instead, we allow God to change us from the inside out.
We know that the quality of our decisions determines the quality of our lives. So we need to orient our choices toward the God-honoring lives we hope to have.
7 God-Honoring Choices for the Life You Want
Below, you’ll find seven God-honoring choices you can make today. These choices come from Pastor Craig Groeschel’s book Think Ahead.
1. I will be ready.
Everyone experiences temptation. Even Jesus was tempted early in His earthly ministry. We know temptation isn’t a sin, but it does offer us a choice. We can choose to run from sin, or we can give in. So, how will you decide what to do when you face your next temptation?
In the book of Genesis, God said the temptation to sin is like a wild animal, ready to attack the second we open the door (Genesis 4:7). And Jesus said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Temptation is inevitable, so it’s wise for us to make a plan. You can start by asking yourself these questions:
- What are some ways I’m tempted to sin?
- Where are the places I experience temptation?
- When in the day do I most often give in to temptation?
- Who am I around when I give in to temptation?
By asking these questions, you can begin to identify some patterns that help you create a plan.
For example, you might realize you’re tempted when you stay up too late, so your plan could include going to bed earlier. Or you might recognize that you’re often tempted around certain people, so you set boundaries in your relationships.
When we make a plan, we’re making a God-honoring choice: I will be ready to resist temptation.
2. I will be devoted.
When Jesus invited people to follow Him, He didn’t say, “Come, follow Me on Sunday mornings and do whatever you’d like for the rest of the week.” Instead, He asked them to leave everything behind and devote their whole life to Him.
Now, to be clear, Jesus doesn’t call all of us to literally sell everything we own. But He does call all of us to dedicate our time, energy, and resources to Him.
So we don’t follow Jesus only by engaging in obviously spiritual activities like attending church on Sundays or reading the Bible. We also follow Him at home, work, or school. We’re devoted to Him with our entertainment and on social media. And we’re devoted to Him when we create our daily routine and monthly calendar.
It’s impossible to live a God-honoring life and only be a part-time follower of Jesus.
So we will make the God-honoring choice: I will be devoted to Jesus in every area of my life.
3. I will be faithful.
Following Jesus occasionally requires making major, life-altering choices. But more often following Jesus involves making small, daily, others-focused choices. Both kinds of choices require the same thing: faithfulness.
What does it mean to be faithful? Faith means trusting in God. We’re faithful when our big and small choices show how much we trust Him.
True generosity requires trust that God will meet our needs.
Resilient hope requires trust that God is making all things new.
Sacrifice requires trust that God’s way of life brings true joy.
So generosity, hope, and sacrifice are a part of being faithful, but they don’t come naturally. Why? Because, for many of us, it’s much easier to trust what we can see, what we know, and what feels good in the moment. That’s why we need to pre-decide to be faithful—to honor God with our choices, even when it doesn’t feel natural.
When we’re faithful, we put others’ needs above our own, and we make choices that don’t always make sense to the people around us. We give, serve, and sacrifice. We also gather with other faithful followers of Jesus, and we welcome and enjoy God’s presence.
4. I will be an influencer.
One of the most important decisions you can make to honor God is choosing to be an influencer. Why? Because you can only do so much on your own. Even the most talented, intelligent, and dedicated follower of Jesus can only do so much. But when someone leads others to praise God, serve others, or give to people in need, then their impact is multiplied.
While on earth, Jesus limited Himself to a physical body. That meant that at any given time He could only be present at a single location. That’s probably one reason why Jesus told His followers that they would do even greater works than He did. Wait, greater works than Jesus? How? Multiplication.
As we encourage people experiencing crisis or invite friends to attend church with us, we’re leading people into a better way of life. And when we all commit to being influencers, we make the world a better place.
The best part is that anyone can be an influencer, no matter your age, social circle, or location. Anytime we invite someone to grow closer to God, we’re choosing to be an influencer.
5. I will be generous.
God is generous. He gave us every good thing we get to see, touch, taste, and experience. He also provides us with purpose and an eternal home in heaven. So we honor God whenever we choose to be generous.
Most people like the idea of being generous, but many stop short of actually living generously. Why? Because it’s difficult. It’s far easier for most to spend or save than it is to give. But Jesus tells us that it’s better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). While we need to spend money, and it’s wise to save, we limit our eternal impact when we neglect generosity. So how do we turn our good intentions into meaningful action? We pre-decide to be generous.
What does this look like practically? It starts with prioritizing generosity by giving our first to God. Many followers of Jesus pursue the tithe, giving the first 10% of what they earn back to God through their local church.
But generosity extends beyond the tithe. Generosity is a mindset, not an action. So a generous person often asks, “What do I really need?” and, “What can I give away?”
6. I will be consistent.
Every follower of Jesus is invited to pursue practices like Bible study, worship, and prayer. But some of us are more consistent in these practices than others. Why? Because consistency is difficult.
It’s easy to sleep in, keep scrolling, or allow distractions to keep us from God’s best for us. We think, “Surely skipping one day won’t matter.” But one day turns into two, and then, before you know it, you’ve forgotten your commitment.
Consistency isn’t always exciting. It requires showing up when we don’t feel like it and pushing ourselves when we’d rather pursue comfort. So, how do we keep doing what’s good for us, even when it’s hard? We remember our “why.”
God loves us, He’s in the process of making all things new, and He has invited each of us to play a part. The closer we grow to Him, the greater joy we get to experience and the greater impact we’re privileged to witness.
So pre-decide to be consistent. If you skip a day, give yourself grace—and don’t skip two.
7. I will be a finisher.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV
It’s easy to want to live a life that honors God.
It’s harder to start living in a way that honors God.
And it’s even more challenging to spend a lifetime honoring God. But it’s worth it. Why? Because choosing not to honor God is even harder in the long run.
Think about it:
- It’s difficult to resist temptation, but it’s harder to live with the regrets that come from giving in to it.
- It’s hard to devote our whole lives to God, but it’s even harder to live without purpose.
- It’s challenging to be faithful, but it’s more difficult to live without direction.
- It takes effort to be an influencer, but it’s so much less fulfilling to just sit passively on the sidelines.
- And it can feel impossible to be consistent, but it’s more painful to live without discipline.
So, which challenge will you choose? The intentional, life-giving challenge of making God-honoring pre-decisions? Or the life-sucking challenge of living a regret-filled, undisciplined life? Hopefully, the better choice is obvious.
Living a God-honoring life takes sacrifice, but it’s worth it. That’s why before we start we must decide: I will be a finisher. I won’t give up; I won’t compromise. And if I fall short, I’ll get up again and keep going.
Pre-Decide Who You Want to Be
With God’s help, you’re invited to step further into a life that honors Him. You can choose to challenge yourself with these God-honoring pre-decisions, or you can experience the challenges that accompany a self-focused life. Which way will you go? It’s up to you to think ahead.
For more on these seven powerful pre-decisions, check out the newest book from Pastor Craig Groeschel, Think Ahead: 7 Decisions You Can Make Today for the God-Honoring Life You Want Tomorrow