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40 Encouraging Bible Verses About Choices and Making Wise Decisions

Never before in history have we been faced with so many choices.  Choices about who to love, where to work, what to wear, where to go for entertainment, how to decorate, etc. 

We need help making wise decisions and thankfully God promises us that help.  Here are 40 Bible verses about choices and making wise decisions.

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What Does the Bible Say About the Choices We Make

There is something to be said about the freedom to choose how we live our lives.  I don't think I ever appreciated this as much as I do now in 2020 when that freedom has been limited.  

The freedom to hug a friend, go out to eat as a group, watch the newest movie at the cinema, are all things I think of as rights rather than choices.  As 2020 continues to restrict our rights in the attempt to save our lives I have really struggled.  

Obviously, these rights are not human rights as I have grown up believing.  That leads me to ask, what does the Bible say about the choices we make in life. Here are just a few things I found when searching Scripture about choices.


What Does the Bible Say About Love Being a Choice

Love is the choice out of all of the Bible verses about choices that I expected to be a right.  What I found was that:

  • God chose to love us first
  • Love is an action, not a feeling
  • Love takes work to maintain

Interesting enough, there was not one Bible verse about love being a choice as it relates to choosing to marry the person you are “in love with”.  Not one!  I guess, that is just one of many 20th Century Americanism that we have bought into by watching too many movies. 


God Chose to Love Us First

Love is a choice, but the choice is not what we assume.  We are to choose to love others the way that God loved us.  All others.  Love in marriage, yes, but also in our family, friendships, neighbors, acquaintances, and even enemies.  

  • “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
  • “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
  • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

We should all strive to make the choice of loving others like Jesus does.

Love Is An Action, Not A Feeling

Not only are we told to choose to love others, but we are told that love is not a feeling.  We must show our love of those others through actions. 

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Seriously, each of these words in the classic chapter on love is a verb.  Love is an action, not a feeling. If you want to take a deeper look at this passage check out this in-depth word study on 1 Corinthians 13 love and marriage.

As the early Christians would have understood love, you did not rely on feeling love for another. You chose to love them and show that love actively.  


Bible Verses About Choosing to Love

As we dive into Scripture, we find many Bible verses about making the choice to love others.

Love must be fervent and forgiving.

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NASB

Love is sacrificial.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 NASB

Love requires community.

“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB

Love Strives for Unity.

“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 NASB

Related:

What Does the Bible Say About Free Choice

If there are no Bible verses about love being the choice I believed it was, I am led to another question.  

What does the Bible say about free choice in general?

Whew, take a deep breath, that one is in there! God allows us to make choices!  He tells us to choose to love Him and others, but He gives us the freedom to choose to:

  • Obey Him or not.
  • Choose Him or reject Him.
  • Walk in His will or not.

God gives us the choice to obey or disobey.

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NASB

God gives us the choice to choose Him or reject Him.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20 NASB

God gives us the choice to walk in His Will or walk in our own will.

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:15-20 NASB


Bible Verses About Choices We Make

We each face choices every day.  We choose to wake up on time, how dedicated we will be in our work, and if we will be kind.  There are Bible verses about the choices we make but the clearest command is that our choices should honor God.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

A few Scriptures on the power of choice that I refer back to often are:

  • “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:14-16
  • “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” Romans 2:6-8

Bible Verses About Freedom of Choice

We have freedom of choice in many areas of our lives.  What does the Bible say about freedom of choice?

Use your freedom to serve others.

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

Use your freedom to follow Jesus' example.

“And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8:34

Use your freedom to obey and respect authority.

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” Romans 13:1-2 NASB


Bible Verses About Making Decisions

While we often make choices that have little effect in our lives, other times we must make hard decisions.  What do the Bible verses about making decisions tell us?

We are better together.

The Bible is clear that we need wise counsel when making decisions. We truly are better together in this Christian life.

“Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.” Proverbs 19:20 NASB

Don't be naive.

Scripture tells us to be wise and shrewd in this lost world.  We have to know what is going on and be ready for anything.  

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 NASB


Bible Verses About Making Wise Choices

It is not enough that we have the freedom to choose our path in life, we also want that path to be the best path.  We want to make wise choices that will benefit everyone our lives touch.  These Bible verses about wise choices encourage me so much. 

  • “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 NASB
  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 NASB

Bible Verses About Choosing the Right Path

How do we choose the right path in life?  We saw that we can freely ask God for wisdom, which will lead to choosing the right path.  Also, we can seek the counsel of others to ensure we are on the right path.  These Bible verses help me know what the right path looks like. 

  • “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” James 3:17 NASB
  • “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6 NASB
  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10 NASB

Bible Verses About Right and Wrong Choices

What happens when we make the right choices?  What happens when we make the wrong choices?  God's Word is clear that there are consequences either way.  

  • “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” Matthew 7:13 NASB
  • “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him” Psalm 37:23 ESV
  • “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV

Bible Verses About Choices and Consequences

We have the freedom to choose, but with every choice there are consequences.  Some consequences are good while others are more like discipline. We need to be careful about how we choose to live our lives to avoid the consequences.

  • “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 ESV
  • “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19 ESV
  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Bible Verses About Free Will

God gave us free will, the ability to choose our own path, wise or unwise.  The truth is that we all take the wrong path from time to time.  

Don't lose hope though if you have fallen into a pattern of sin and are living in the reality of tough consequences.  God gives us a way out of temptation and new mercies each morning.  

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23


Examples of Decision Making in the Bible

Throughout Scripture, we are given examples of real people making real choices.  Sometimes those choices were wise, other times those choices were unwise. 

Biblical examples of making wise choices:

  • Nehemiah fasted and prayed before giving up a good position to serve God (Nehemiah 1:4).
  • Abigail ignored her husband and fed King David and his men (1 Samuel 25).
  • Jairus believed Jesus could heal his dying child and left her to seek Him out (Luke 8:43-48).

Biblical examples of making unwise decisions:

  • David slept with Uriah's wife then had him murdered to cover it up (2 Samuel 11:5-27).
  • Esau traded his birthright for a meal (Genesis 27:34–40).
  • Pilot ignored the pleadings of his wife about Jesus' innocence (Matthew 27:19).

These examples of decision-making in the Bible give me hope.  You see, I've made so many unwise choices in my life that for a long time I was sure God would never choose to use me again:

  • Pregnant at 15
  • Dropped out of college after 2 years
  • Married by 18
  • Divorced by 20
  • Bankrupt by 21
  • This list could go on longer than the post honestly…

God is still using me today.  We've gone through dry periods where I stubbornly chose my own way and wallowed in sin.  Yes, I chose to sin, but God never gave up on me.  He brought me to my knees in repentance, cleaned me up, and put me back in service!

Unwise choices do not stop God from loving us, forgiving us, redeeming our mess, and continuing to use us in the Kingdom of God.  If anything, God uses the unwise things more than the wise things in the end.  Not that I recommend the unwise choices, the consequences hurt, but I recommend hope.  

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. ” 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NASB

I don't care what mess is in your past, God is not done with you!  Never lose hope!

in HIM, Tiffany

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