There exists a bundle of pithy sayings that are meant to characterize human life or some aspect of it. The French existentialist playwright, John Paul Sartre said, “We are our choices.” Whether or not this is an accurate characterization, it is a thought-provoking one.
If the making of choices in life defines our lives then choosing (which involves free will) becomes hugely important to our true selves – to the reality of “our truth.” In a very real sense we are “choosing beings.” There is no sin or virtue without choice. We are known by others from the choices we make. Only You know us beyond our choices.
If we choose a particular course in life, over the long run it becomes what we are known as. A pattern of short-term or momentary choices stamps our character in certain descriptive ways. There enters into this mix also the reality of mistaken choices – choices we’ve made but cannot take back even though we’d like to. Others do not see very well beyond our good or bad choices but, thankfully, You do.
It’s like the tax-collectors, Romans, poor people, “infidels,” and prostitutes with whom You associated: the choices they made forever stamped their character in the eyes of others. But Your vision went beyond their choices – and so should ours!
It’s not an easy thing to discount the things we see and hear, to ignore them as irrelevant and go deeper. Our true self is hard enough for us to comprehend. Imagine how difficult it is for others. But You see it. There must be something very special at the center of our true selves because it overrides what is apparent about us. It overrides the choices we’ve made. It overrides any repulsion You may have for us and makes us sought-after by You. What great hope there is in knowing that You love us that much. It declares loudly that we are more than our choices. We are more than the judgments people make about us, just as others are more than the judgments we make about them.