As human beings we should try to make good choices in life. Some might say that those who regularly make good choices are wise.
Wisdom can be understood as skill in living.
Parents want to teach their children to make good choices.
Teachers attempt to teach their students how to make good choices.
But how do we know how to make good choices? How do we know when we are making a good choice?
How do we know we are rightly teaching children, students, employees, and others who look up to us to make good choices?
For starters, we must learn to think through decisions that we make.
We must evaluate the consequences of our actions before acting.
We must weigh the options and choose between them.
We must on occasion seek the advice of others, do research, and most importantly, pray for guidance.
What does the Bible say about making good choices?
Proverbs 3:1-35 reads, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Here the writer of the Proverbs reminds us to follow God’s ways. We are to trust him and seek peace.
Deuteronomy 30:9-10, states “The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Again we see the importance being obedient to the Lord. Obedience to God helps us to know when we are making good choices.
Proverbs 3:5-6 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
This passage reminds us that we need to lean on the Lord for help in making good choices.
Psalm 32:8 states, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Here God reminds us that he will lead us and instruct us.
Philippians 4:7 shares, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When we focus on God, he will guard our hearts and bring us peace.
Proverbs 14:12 reminds us that, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
When we do not rely on God and choose to do things on our own, we run the risk of making choices that do not yield good results. This is especially true with regard to spiritual death which comes from relying on ourselves for salvation.
Proverbs 11:14 speaks concerning wise counsel, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
When we look to others for advise, we are less likely to make decisions we will regret later in life.
Finally, in 1 Peter 3:15 we are told, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
We should honor God with our hearts and when we do, our actions will show what we believe. God calls us to have pure hearts and by result, to make good choices in how we live.
To make good choices we must:
- Trust in the Lord for wisdom and guidance.
- Ask for counsel from others we look up to when making important decisions.
- Be obedient to the commands of God as they are meant to help protect and guide us.
- Way our options and evaluate the possible consequences.
- Pray and give your concerns to the Lord…and then listen for his conviction in your heart, in the Scripture as you read it, and in the words of others.
How do you live? Do you rely on yourself, or do you see the value in looking to God and others for help?
Do you believe you have skill in living?
Eaglewindspirit(June 14, 2014 - 10:54 am)
Proverbs 3:1-35 you referenced was a warning from king David because he was disobedient and followed his own heart and will. Because of that God never allowed king David to be the builder of the temple (and experienced many heartbreaks from his personal life choices), but instead that privilege of building the new temple was give to his son Saul. David’s choices destroyed God’s plans for David’s life, good example of free will and concequences. Often people blame their life’s outcome on chance or bad luck, but in this illustration of David’s life, you can see that the outcome he experienced was directly caused by his own poor choices. So for Christian’s this means God will forgive you (like he did David), however that doesn’t diminish the consequences of choices. The bible say for those who know better, God holds more accountable. So living with the holy fire insurance mentality is dangerous and foolish. This is why divorce and addictions issues are at unacceptable levels among Christians. Being saved doesn’t meant you are insulated from the consequences of personal poor choices, mater of fact it can often means far worse consequences.