“If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live.” With these words, Sirach describes the center of our moral life: we are free to choose good or evil. Freedom requires a choice; responsibility demands that we make the right choice. And our choices are not uninformed or made in ignorance: we have the commandments of God to guide us.
“The eyes of God are on those who fear him; he understands man’s every deed. No one does he command to act unjustly, to none does he give license to sin.” God allows us the freedom to make our own choices, but we must know that our actions have consequences. Our right to choose comes with the responsibility to live with the impact our choices will have on our lives and the lives of others.
If we want to live without regrets, we would do well to follow the immense wisdom of God, who is “mighty in power and all-seeing.” God knows human nature far better than we do. God knows the outcomes of our actions, and has given us warning that some choices hurt us and other, while other choices will benefit us and those whom we love. God’s will for us is for our benefit, not harm. God’s commandments are our safeguards and our supports for long-term happiness. What may seem difficult at present will pay off for our future both here and hereafter. For our Lord Jesus’ promise is true: “Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”