Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It is full of practical, common-sense wisdom:
My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
Hang on to them,
for they will refresh your soul.
They are like jewels on a necklace.
They keep you safe on your way,
and your feet will not stumble.
Sometimes we do not receive any kind of “special” instruction from the Lord about a decision we are making. There is no direct Biblical command. We do not sense that He is leading us in any particular direction. What should you do in those circumstances? Usually this is the answer: you make the most logical, practical decision you can.
One of the main points of Proverbs is this: God expects us to use common sense in our decisions. God never promises to bless foolish decisions. Sometimes we make terrible, impractical decisions and then wonder why we are suffering the consequences (as if God is to blame).
Let me give you an example: Suppose one of you told me that you found a wonderful man and you wanted to get married. The first thing I would do is ask if he is a dedicated follower of Christ (2nd Corinthians 6:14). Many of my questions, however, would be more practical in nature. I would eventually ask you if he had a job. Suppose you responded with, “He works part-time.” I would then ask, “Do you plan to eat part-time?” I think you understand my point.
Here’s another example: Some of you may have a Christmas bonus this month. Is it wise to spend your entire paycheck on a new cell phone? Wouldn’t it make more sense to save part (or all) of that money?
Here are other examples of unwise things I’ve seen people do:
*Not studying: Taking an exam unprepared and asking God to give you the answers. The “answer” you will get from God is “F,” because you didn’t study.
*Poor financial decisions: Buying things you simply cannot afford; always borrowing money.
*Staying in a bad relationship: Staying with a boyfriend/girlfriend even though you see “warning signs” or the two of you do not get along. This is often accompanied by a lot of complaining about your boyfriend/girlfriend, as if someone else chose this person for you.
*Over-committing: Saying “yes” to everything people ask you to do even when you know you don’t have time.
*Unhealthy lifestyle: Poor diet and no exercise, then wondering why you don’t feel/look your best.
Of course there are times when God will tell us to do something “impractical.” Moving to the Manila, for example, was not a very practical thing for me to do. I did it because I felt God was leading me to come here. Obviously we should obey God even if what He’s telling us doesn’t seem to make sense. The rest of the time, however, we need to be as practical as possible.
God gave us a brain. He expects us to use it when making decisions. He expects us to consider the consequences of our decisions and move accordingly.
I hope this “Making Wise Decisions” series has been a blessing to you! Thanks to all who read and/or listened to the sermons. Feel free to leave comments or questions.
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