The 3 Great Decisions in Life

By Charles E. Jones, Author of Life is Tremendous

There are only three basic decisions in life, and when you make them they shape everything else and they require everything you have to abide by them.

The three great decisions are:

1. Whom are you going to live your life with? We needed to be learning that two people come together to grow old together. The sweetest scene in the world is two people growing old together, growing deeper, richer and fuller in sharing. You know what growing means? Growing means growing pains: it means changing. When two people come together and don't let each other change each other, they may wind up exchanging each other. The key to a successful marriage is not doing things for each other, it's doing things with each other. It's not getting old together, it's growing old together. It's not acting like a husband and wife are supposed to act, it's spending your lives learning to be what a husband and wife should be.

"A successful marriage is based upon compatibility." Compatibility! Listen, the secret of happy marriage is not compatibility alone, it is more about integrity, the integrity of the two people to make the decision, make it truly theirs, and die by it -- that's real living. And once you get married it should be for better or worse (mostly worse), richer or poorer (mostly poorer), till death do us part (that settles that).

2. What are you going to live your life in? A lot of men never get to know the thrill of letting a job make them what they ought to be because they don't start right. A job is something God gives us and says that we are to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we've been called, that we should be learning to do everything we can with all our heart. If a man isn't learning to love, honor, and cherish his job, it will honor him and reward him any more that a self-centered marriage will. Of course, an employee should know what future benefits a company offers, but they shouldn't have priority. The deal a company offers is important, but not as important as the relationships. The pay is important, but the opportunities to give and grow are more important.

Many people will miss the privilege of growing up and growing old on a great team because they missed on this great decision. A job is like a marriage: you can court several favorites, but until you settle down with one you'll miss real success in a career or a marriage. You must commit your life to a partner or career in order to grow and glow. The key to vocational success is not proper training, aptitude, or "pull" with the boss, but making the job decision, making it yours and dying by it.

3. What are you going to live your life for? There are only two things to live your life for. On the first -- we're all authorities on it. The first thing that we live our lives for is the big I, me, mine. "Hey, world, look at me; ain't I terrific! I'm a self-made man! (Good -- that relieves God of the responsibility) We can't fool each other; we all recognize the guy who makes the sun rise and set on his pinhead! Yes, I can live my life for me... or I can live it for God. "Oh-oh, we don't talk about religion," someone says. "That causes controversy." Yes, that's true. But sometimes controversy sheds new light.

You've probably heard somebody say, "Do you want to be a success? Get religion." But I say, "If you want success, don't do that!" Some of the finest spiritual people have nothing materially and some of the shrewdest con men have all the material success one could want. When people come to know God, life will not get easier, but it will get better. If good baseball players want to play against good opponents, and tough football players want to play tough competitors, don't living people want to live instead of vegetate? Conflict, striving, sacrificing -- not ease and rest -- make real men and women!

When you make a decision, make it yours. Live for it. Burn that into your heart. Remember, decisions aren't to make men; men are to make decisions.