One of the things I have learned through life is that your vision always determines your values, and values always define your character.
Life is filled with choices and decisions, and many of them are difficult. In fact, it is the difficult decisions that not only describe but also define our character, and the more we make those difficult decisions, and do the right thing, the easier it becomes.
I have discovered that the only way to make the right decision is by having Christ in my life. In fact, when He is in my life, then my character becomes a reflection of His. That's what St. Paul means when he says, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)
I always had a sense of what the right thing to do was, but it was not always the way I wanted to go. My wife, Toni, who is such a source of strength to me as we walk together in the Lord, and I struggled with doing the right thing early in our relationship, in high school and college. We knew what was right and what was wrong, and we chose to do what was right. It is only as Christ fills my life that I not only know what the right decision is, but I also have the strength to do it, as the Holy Spirit empowers me.
It can be difficult to do the right thing, especially for kids who have role models in their lives offering an opposite approach. Whether it's drugs, or sex, or parties, or whatever the situation or temptation might be, it can be hard to do the right thing when everyone else is doing the other.
But it's a matter of character.
Set your focus on God, make Him the vision for your life, and your character will become a reflection of His.
And difficult as the decisions might be, and enticing as the temptations might appear, and inviting as it might be to simply go along with the crowd, remember that we already have the victory. As St. Paul says in Romans, in my favorite passage, "If God is for us, who can be against us
.we are already more than conquerors through Christ who loves us." (Romans 8:31,37)
If you would like to know more about Jesus and what He can do for you, just click the button on the left side of your screen to change your life.