The Wise Thing

Decisions are the stuff life is made of. I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” Unless we think of life as just marking time, unless we see ourselves as prisoners scratching a notch on the wall to count their days in prison, then there’s more to the stuff of life than time. I believe it’s the decisions we make that define life.

In his series, “The Best Question Ever,” Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church, pointed out that we never plan to mess up our lives. But, unfortunately, we never plan not to. That’s a fresh way of saying, “If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” When faced with a decision, we usually ask whether it is a right or wrong decision. If we can’t find a verse in the Bible about it, we assume that it means God is for it because He apparently did not say anything against it. But then again when we are not careful we can make the Bible say anything we want it to say. So, Stanley brought it to a higher level based on Ephesians 5:15-16, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (NIV) The question is not just whether a decision is right or wrong. The best question is, “In light of my past experiences, my current circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do?”

Now, that’s a wise question to ask! It is because life is not only a choice between good and evil. It is also a choice between good and great. Hebrews 12:1 tell us, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” We are to cast off not only sin but “everything that hinders”. That means everything that can keep us from what is best. Everything here includes that which is good. The wise thing for us to do is to choose to be great in God’s eyes!

As the year draws to an end, we face another fresh year of crisis. I wrote last week that crisis calls for a choice. We must decide for example to make the most of the opportunity that the global financial crisis gave us this year and will continue to give us next year. We just concluded a series on spiritual gifts in our church. The wise response would be “to fan [it] into flame” (2 Timothy 1:6), to set and keep it ablaze.

Brethren, let us wisely define life.


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