By Birth or By Choice by Nancy J. Farrier



On a recenttrip, I stopped by a store to pick up a couple of items. When I came out, Inoticed a rather scruffy gentleman walking toward me. He needed a shave, his clothes wereworn and appeared unwashed and his hair shaggy and unkempt. His demeanor was that of some of the homeless our church ministers to, but I don’t know that he was homeless.

As he approached, I noticed his black t-shirt had writing. The slogan read:

Genius by Birth

Slacker by Choice

At first, I scoffed inside as I continued on to my car. But, as I drove away, I couldn’t help pondering those words and the truth therein. What am I by birth? What have my choices shown me or shown others about me?

Growing up, I attended church with my parents, but as a young adult, I turned my back on God, my parents, and the church. That decision, or choice, had some far-reaching consequences. Some painful consequences. So, for that part of my life my slogan might read:

Sinner by Birth

Rebel by Choice

When the results of my rebellion brought me to my knees long enough for me to hear God’s call and surrender to Him, I still had a difficult time. Those early decisions clouded my judgement and I had to learn a whole new lifestyle—one that pleased God.

Often my human nature took over—and still takes over—so that my actions didn’t reflect Jesus the way I wanted them to. Perhaps then my slogan should read:

Christian by Re-Birth

Changing by Choice

So many of our choices effect the path our life takes. Think about the following that I’ve experienced or been told.

Overweight by Choice – But I have a slower metabolism. I don’t eat a lot, but I gain weight easily. This isn’t my fault. Isn’t it? I could make choices of diet and exercise to offset that slow metabolism and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Cantankerous by Choice – I can’t help the way my attitude is. My whole family is this way. It’s passed down and there is nothing I can do. (This is something someone said to me about themselves. Another Christian.) I wanted to say, “What family are you taking after? Your earthly family or God?”

Gossip by Choice – I grew up in a family who did nothing but gossip about others. It comes naturally to me and I can’t help myself. Besides, I’m letting you know about that person so you will know how to pray for them. Right?

Or, what about these—

Forgiving by Choice – You said or did hurtful things to my or to someone I love, but because God forgives me, I forgive you.

Kind by Choice – I could walk on by and ignore the fact that you need help. It would be easy to do, as if I don’t even notice you there. But, I choose to take a chance, be a little late, and help you with what you need, even if that means putting your groceries in your car, or simply saying an encouraging word.

Loving by Choice – When others are rude, or constantly rebuff any attempts to show them love, I can still choose to love them. How many times did I push God away, yet He still called my name and waited patiently for me to come to Him.

I want others to look at me and see that my slogan must read:

Christian by Re-Birth

Christ like by Choice

“. . . Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NKJV




About Nancy J. Farrier

Nancy J Farrier is an award-winning author who lives in Southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. When Nancy isn't writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website:
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