“We Made Bad Choices”

Last week I watched a fascinating news story about a group of inmates who risked their lives to help three boys who were in danger of drowning and hypothermia.

Three brothers, ages 16, 10, and 8, overturned their canoe and fell into Salmon Creek in southwest Washington. Inmates were working on a detail nearby jumped into the swollen (and freezing) river to rescue them.

Thirty-seven year old Nelson Pettis, one of the ten member work crew doing maintenance at a near-by park, jumped into the water ahead of the boys and let the current take him until he was able to touch the ground. When the speeding current brought the boys near him, Pettis grabbed them and waited for the rescue.

Another member of the crew, 29 year old Larry Bohn, jumped in to help the 16 year old to shore. He later went back in the 45 degree water to help Pettis with the younger boys.

Both men took off their shirts and wrapped them around the boys to keep them warm. Bohn described how the eight year old’s lips turned blue: “He looked real bad.
They were saying ‘thank you’ repeatedly. They just seemed real scared.”

You may be thinking as I did. Do we expect prison inmates to help other people?

Another member of the prison work detail said this: “I think we did something that any good person would do. You see three helpless kids in a river, you help. That’s what you do.” Jon Fowler (age 28) added: “Just cause we’re incarcerated, doesn’t mean we’re bad people. We made some bad choices in our lives, but we’re still, we’re just like everybody else. We’re just paying our debt for what we did wrong.”

The inmate hit the nail on the head: “We’ve made some bad choices in our lives.”

Haven’t we all? Life is the sum of all the choices we have made.

We need help with choices. When we make bad choices, we get the fruit of our bad choices. When we make Godly choices, we enjoy the fruit of righteousness.

Earthly, demonic wisdom produces disorder and every evil practice (James 3: 16).

God gives Godly wisdom to those who seek Him. Godly wisdom produces the fruit of righteousness. Godly wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3: 17).

Where are you getting your wisdom?

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3 Responses

  1. I count my sinful weak self to be so fortunate to have Dr. Bailey speak and teach Christ teachings every morning! It motivates me and I bet all who hear the word to seek out Bible teachings daily!

  2. Yes, Brad, you are so right!!! It would be soo wonderful if God’s people were to get out of Wal-Mart and get into His word!!! Hope you have a great day!!! : )

  3. When ministering in Homeless Shelters I have been constantly impressed how little separates the fortunes of those to whom I preached, encouraged and counseled and my own life. Some consciously choose a bad choice, for some it is a matter of only bad choices and trying to make the least bad choice (I think about this when I go into the voting booth); and, for some it is a fact they do not have James or any other point of reference, thus, that option of a decision is not even a consideration. We live the Debate. When we allow or enable others who use “church” as a social tool for private wars or economic gain to be successful in their endeavors, we offer an unwarranted credibility, that the Bible is not real or relevant except as a manipulative tool. Words remembered said to me, “Don’t you know anything? The Bible is a collection of stories. Do you know the definition of a story? A story is a short fictional work! You are so ridiculous!” or “Your problem is that you actually believe what the Bible says!” Words from the mouths of “church” leaders, well thought of and appreciated by good “church” people. Joy has written in this blog neighborhood with the ring of truth, a warning.

    Thank you Dr. Bailey for bringing Truth to Light in living the Great Debate.

    Blessings & get well!

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