Sirach 15:15-20: Your Own Choice
We have reflected on Jesus’s admonition that we leave vengeance and judgment in God’s hands; and we have spent time exploring Jesus’ call that we love our enemies. Today we ponder words from Sirach. Words that remind us of the gift of free will we each hold in our hands, and hearts and minds.
If you choose, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.
We may want to make someone else responsible for our decisions; but when we are honest, we know that we are free to reject or to choose God.
God has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for whichever you choose.
We may believe that we live in isolation, living invisibly, doing as we please and avoiding consequences; but when we are truthful we know that we are free to be open or closed to Christ.
Before each person are life and death, and whichever one chooses will be given.
We may believe that we are the source of our own intelligence and good fortune, reaping the rewards of a life well lived; but when we are candid we know that we are free to accept or refuse the healing of the Spirit.
For great is the wisdom of the Lord; God is mighty in power and sees everything; God’s eyes are on those who love the LORD, and God knows every human action.
There is no greater source of understanding than God. There is no greater heart of love than Jesus.
God has not commanded anyone to be wicked, and God has not given anyone permission to sin.
There is no greater power to heal than the Spirit. Let us rejoice that we live in the gift of God’s mercy, and that we have been given the freedom to make a choice of our own.
When we compare these verses with THE GOOD NEWS translation, we gain clarity and focus, discernment and wisdom. We find that we really do possess the gift of making our own choices.