“Change one thing, change everything.” This proverbial saying is linked to the concept of the “butterfly effect,” which suggests that making a slight difference at one point can have great implications in the future. The challenge is to know what changes will make a difference. Should we attend that party? Spend our birthday money on those shoes? Go on that mission trip? Forgive that friend?

Just as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings may influence more than we may think, our choices are important, even seemingly small ones. For example, eating a piece of fruit may not seem like a big deal, but when it is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the upheaval is fundamental. Today’s choices can have eternal significance.

As the people prepared to at last enter the Promised Land, God told the Israelites, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days” (Deut. 30:19). Every day we make choices that shape our lives. The question is, do they reflect the will of God for us?

Sometimes we may think that an action’s immediate benefit is worth whatever long-term outcome may result. In reality, we are responsible for all our choices and the consequences that they may have. God desires our good. That’s why, not only for God’s pleasure but for our own sake, “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).