Monday, December 3, 2018
Three Steps to Making Wise Decisions
In review of Proverbs 28:26 it says, “A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe” (TLB).
Today’s verse is Proverbs 28:26. It reminds me that those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom will be safe.
In our culture, a rugged individualist is often considered a hero. We tend to admire the bold, self-directed individual who knows what they want and fights for it. They are self-reliant, not giving or even one to ask for advice. I'm learning that this is in contrast to God's way. For a person can't know the future and can't predict the consequences of his or her choice with any certainty. And so the totally self-reliant person is doomed to failure. On the other hand, a wise person will depend on God, and on others who are wise, for their decisions.
We all tend to make decisions frivolously, but the Bible gives a simple, workable plan on how to handle things differently. Whether it’s a decision about career, finances, health, children, or the future. I’m reminded this morning of these three principles from God’s Word for making wise decisions.
First, I should pray for guidance. Before I do anything else, get God’s perspective on the issue. Proverbs 28:26 says, “A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe” (TLB). I know I’ve made a foolish decisions that I thought were the best thing to do at the time. We all get impressions, but they are just that, impressions. They are not from God. They are from what you ate last night or just ideas that pop into my mind. I need something greater than simply intuition, gut feelings, or “I think.” I need absolute truth on which to base my decisions. I need God’s guidance, and I get that by praying and asking God for it.
Second is to get the facts. There is no contradiction between faith and fact, and it is wise to find out all you can before you make a decision. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:16, “Every prudent man acts with knowledge” (ESV), and in Proverbs 18:13, “What a shame—yes, how stupid!—to decide before knowing the facts!” (TLB).
Lastly, ask for advice. Talk to somebody who’s made a similar decision. Talk to friends who know your weaknesses. Learn to ask for advice! Proverbs 24:6 says, “The more advice you get, the more likely you are to win” (GNT).
It is wise to learn from experience, but it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. I’ll never have time to learn everything from personal experience. I don’t have time to make all the mistakes in life. Life is too short to learn everything by trial and error. But I can learn from others’ successes, and I can learn from others’ failures.
Those who trust in themselves are foolish, but those who walk in wisdom will be kept safe.
What this means to me:
It would be foolish for me to follow my own thoughts and opinions. It would be better and safer for to me follow the teachings of wiser people.
In summary, to trust in my own insight only is foolish. If I walk in wisdom I will be safe. I can't know the future and can't predict the consequences of my choice with any certainty. Being totally self-reliant will doom me to failure. It's wiser for me to depend on God, and on others who are wise, for their decisions. There are three principles from God's Word for making wise decisions. First, be sure to pray for guidance, and avoid simple intuition, or gut feelings. I need absolute truth on which to base my decisions. This only comes from praying and asking God for it. Second is to make sure I get the facts. It's wise to find out all I can before I make a decision. Lastly be sure I'm asking for advice. Talk with others who've made similar decisions. Learn to ask for advice. Also it's wise to learn from others successes and failures.
I know I often miss all three steps. I realize that I’m about to make a decision on a new TV, but I haven’t really prayed about it, nor obtained all the facts or have gotten advice. So this mornings verse is a great reminder for me on this. I als to o do this with work decisions. I need to incorporate this into my daily decisions at work. This morning Father I pray for the assistance from the Holy Spirit to help remind me about this before making bigger decisions. I also pray today Father for your continued wisdom and guidance in my work, leadership and how I react to others. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!
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