CRITERIA OF A GOOD DECISION

“Don’t let anybody tell you what to do. Go ahead and do it. What’s important is that you are happy.”People give this advice like distributing freebies of a new drug in the market. They forget how dangerous it is.

Remember this: Just because you are happy doesn’t make your decision automatically right.

Your happiness is just one but not the only criteria of a good decision. There are more.

For instance, a person hooked into drugs cannot go up to his parents and say, “Dad, Mom, I am happy being a drug addict. So just let me be.”

When our happiness becomes the sole basis for our decisions, we can get into a lot of trouble. We begin to sanction the improper and even the immoral in the name of our happiness.

May I suggest some questions to ask one’s self before making a decision?

1. Will this decision honor God?

God doesn’t want you to be just happy. He also wants you to be holy.

Your holiness is your passport to a life of joy. “Happiness” is dependent on what’s “happening” to you. “Joy” on the other hand is dependent solely on being in a right relationship with your creator.

2. Will this decision hurt those who matter most in my life?

As the saying goes, “No one is an island.”

And because you’re not, you need to consider not only your happiness but the well-being of those around you. Always remember that people are affected by your decisions. And the most affected are those who truly love you and those you truly love.

3. Will this decision hurt myself?

Just because you don’t hurt anyone else doesn’t automatically make your decision right. Why? Because unknowingly, this decision might be destroying you.

For instance, a person hooked into gambling finds happiness in his vice not knowing that it subtly destroys his mind and will.

A couple in a wrong sexual relationship can give birth not just to unwanted children but also to incurable illnesses.

Drugs and porn bring pleasure but erode one’s self-control and self-respect.

Not everything that brings you happiness is actually good for you.

4. How will this decision affect the succeeding generations?

We cannot be pre-occupied with short-term band-aid solutions to our problems to the detriment of the future generation. We cannot be selfish at pushing an agenda to ease our predicament and for our own personal happiness with no regard for its effect on the generations that are to come.

We cannot sanction (and even applaud) the institutionalization of what is morally wrong as a quick-fix solution to our difficulty with no regard for its enduring effect in the minds and hearts of the youth of our nation and the world.

Making decisions is easy.

Making right decisions is not.

Today, make that first decision: To decide not only based on what would make you happy but based on something so much bigger than you!

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I LOVE THE CHURCH

I am reminded of a funny story often told by preachers…A man told his pastor that he was leaving his church because of its imperfections. He would rather attend the church in another town because that other church is perfect. His pastor immediately responded, “Oh please don’t join that church.”

“And why is that?” he asked.

“Because if you join that perfect church, it won’t be perfect anymore.”

*——————————-*

The church is often criticized for all its imperfections. And rightly so for it truly is imperfect. For in this world, nothing is perfect.

Including you and me.

And that’s what makes us human. Just because a man wears a vestment doesn’t make him a saint. He is frail. He is weak. He is undoubtedly a sinner.

Just like you and me.

I am.

I criticize.
I lose my temper.
I resent.

But just because I am a sinner does not disqualify me from calling everyone else to holiness.

Just because one slips during the climb doesn’t prevent him from encouraging everyone else to get to the mountaintop. While the messenger may be unworthy, the message is still worth proclaiming.

With all its imperfections, the Catholic Church combined with other Christian churches still has the most number of orphanages, schools and hospitals all over the world.

We can fault the church for its follies but we must never forget to celebrate its wins.

When my father was a young man, he was into a lot of trouble. Drinking sprees. Street brawls. Bar fights. But one of the things which kept him in church was a young foreigner priest who mirrored to him the love of God. Later on, my father turned a new leaf. He finished school, went on to become a lawyer and an amazing family man.

The church will never give up on us because God never will.

Pray for the church.
Pray for the priests.
Pray for the lay faithful.

Let the words of scripture ring true today more than ever:

“on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail over it” (Matthew 16:18)

I am Bobby Quitain.

I am Catholic.

I am a Christian.

I love the Church.

GOD’S PLANS IN YOU

Many people look outside themselves to know God’s will for their life. While this is highly recommended, doing so should not be at the expense of looking within. You see, God’s will is often built-in to how He made you. By the way God designed you, you will have an idea as to his plans for your life.

By its design, a bird knows it is not meant to crawl.
By its design, a snake knows it is not meant to swim.
By its design, an elephant knows it is not meant to fly (unless it is Dumbo!).

Know yourself and you will have some idea of your purpose in life.

Early in my life, I already had a clue that I was meant to communicate.

I loved public speaking. I joined declamation contests and even made my own elocution pieces.

I also wrote my own comic books and novels which were all for my personal consumption. Computers were inaccessible then so most of my “books and novels” were all written by hand.

But I was also raised in a family of lawyers. The law runs through my blood and I took fancy of court litigations and politicians.

So today, that’s what I am: a lawyer, an author and a preacher.

Combining my love for communication and the law, I also teach legal ethics through the spoken and written word.

I have not yet fully exhausted God’s plans for me as a lawyer, author and preacher. But I am just all too glad to enjoy the ride.

Before you can know what you are meant to do, self-knowledge is key. Understanding and appreciating how God made you will lead you to where God wants you to be.

In Jeremiah 29:11, it says: For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future.

Today, first things first.

List down your wonderful qualities. What talents do you have? What wonderful character traits do you possess? What are you passionate about? What experiences in life, both good and bad, can you use to be a blessing to others?

Acknowledge your weaknesses. Don’t be afraid of them. They are not your masters. You are. Resolve to be more aware of them and guard yourself against them.

Ask godly people you know to validate what you think of yourself. Be vulnerable. Be humble. Be accountable.

Finally, check what scriptures say about you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (See Psalm 139:14). You are God’s child. (See Galatians 3:26) You are so much loved. (See Jeremiah 31:3)

Get to know the beautiful person that God made in you. As you do, be ready to see the unfolding of God’s equally beautiful plans for you!

Excited for you, my friend!

 

PERSON OF PRAISE

PERSON OF PRAISE

Do you really want to please God? Let me share with you one sure-fire way:

Praise Him.

In all circumstances, praise Him. Praise Him not after you survive a difficulty but in the midst of it. Praise Him not when battle has been won but even when the battle is still fierce. Praise Him even when the past is regretful, the present unsatisfying, and the future uncertain. Praise Him, not tomorrow, but today. Not when your situation is better but even when it is at its worst. Praise with your words and with your life.

Bear this in mind: To praise God is to please Him.

And when we please God, He brings victory into our lives.

The Bible says:

“For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory.” (Psalm 149:4)

We are so used to thanking people after they have done us good. It is a different thing with God. We thank Him even before He brings victory into our lives.

He might answer us in a way different from our expectation. But if we praise Him in all circumstances, He will surely grant us victory in the way that is perfect for us.

This week, decide to be a person of praise. And before you know it, you will also be known as a person of victory!

CHRISTIANS ARE FOOLS!

Holy Week is a week of ironies.This week, we saw a master wash his disciples’ feet.
We call the Friday when God was crucified as “good”.
We take the symbol of the most shameful and gruesome death and turn it into a symbol of unsurpassed triumph and life.

And now this — we rejoice on emptiness.

We don’t usually rejoice with emptiness.

We don’t take delight with an empty fridge.
Or an empty stomach.
Or an empty bank account.
Or the empty closet of your spouse.

Yet today, we give our loudest cheer because of an empty tomb.

For us Christians, the empty tomb gives us all the reasons to rejoice.

The emptiness of the tomb fills our lives with joy.
The emptiness of the tomb fills our hearts with hope.
The emptiness of the tomb fills our spirits with life.

From behind the stone that was rolled, the emptiness exclaims so loudly a million reasons to celebrate.

Your pain has purpose.
Your sin is erased.
Your past is forgiven.
Your future is secured.
Your life has meaning.
Your death is temporary.
Your hope is not in vain.

And yes, one last irony: today, Easter Sunday happens to be April Fools’ Day too.

And why not?

Wasn’t He who rose from the tomb this day the greatest fool who ever lived?

For who in his right mind would die for someone like me?
For who in his right mind would suffer for a wretch like me?
For who in his right mind would stand in my place at Calvary?

So today, I rejoice in emptiness. Others will not understand. Others will wonder. Others will shake their heads in disbelief.

I won’t be surprised if they think I’m crazy.

And perhaps, I am. Perhaps we are.

So fools, stand up, be counted and rejoice!

This is proudly our day!

YOUR POST-CREDIT SCENE IS GLORIOUS!

When we watch a marvel movie, my kids would often insist that we stay for the post-credit scene which takes place…well…after the credits. (Obviously!) Long after other people have left, we would be there glued to our seats waiting for the avengers to suit up again one last time before we pack for home.Satan never stayed for the post-credit scene on that first Good Friday.

When Jesus breathed his last on the cross, Satan went celebrating with his minions. He didn’t get to watch the post-credit scene. He thought the last scene was a cross on a hill. He didn’t get to watch that scene where the boulder was rolled from the entrance of the tomb. Had he stayed behind, he would have realized that his merriment was embarrassingly premature.

That is the story of Satan’s life vis a vis every believer of the Lord.

No matter what he throws at us, if we hold on to Jesus to the end, we will still emerge victorious.

Death will not have the final say. Life will!
Sin will not have the closing encore. Holiness will!
Fear will not have the ultimate blow. Faith will!
Hate will not have the last word. Love will!

All Jesus asks of us is to hold on. No matter what “Good Fridays” you may be going through. Never let go. Never give up. Never throw in the towel. Keep loving. Keep serving. Keep believing.

Because for those who hang on, the post-credit scene of your life will not be a lifeless hill under a gloomy sky but rather, an empty tomb bathed in glorious light!

 

IN ONE INSTANT

I was writing a rather lengthy reflection of the Gospel today when one of my children accidentally pulled the plug of my computer which left the screen blank. In one instant, everything I worked for closed to an hour was gone.

Then it dawned on me: Isn’t that what I often do to God?

When I sin.
When I indulge.
When I fail to love.

In one instant, I undermine everything He has done for me on that first Good Friday.

Today, I pray, may we truly value what Jesus did for us on the road to Calvary by living a life worthy of His sacrifice.

He deserves nothing less.