I’m probably one of the simplest Christians you will ever meet. Many times I have found myself on the precipice of stupidity, and several times I have tumbled into that pit. However, I have found several keys that keep me from looking foolish that I would like to share with you today.
I. Find the Facts
The Bible says, Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. My father used to tell me to tell me (remove) that God gave me two ears and one mouth for a reason. If we listen twice as much as we talk, we find that others have really smart things to say. Be a listener. The Bible also says, Proverbs 19:2 Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth. When finding the facts, we ought to do more than just listen; we ought to wait. Patience is a lost virtue. I know in my life, I find myself tapping my foot angry becasue the microwave popcorn is taking sooooo long to pop. Really?!?! We are to listen and wait, and in doing so we will find all the facts before making unwise decisions.
II. Consider the Consequences
The Bible says, Proverbs 14:8The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. We lie to ourselves about what is really going to happen. Moses thought everyone would appreciate his murder of the Egyptian. David thought no one would ever know about his indiscretion with Bathsheba. Samson wasn’t thinking about the consequences at all when he allowed himself to fall in love with Delilah. Jesus said, Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Isn’t it important to think through the consequences of the choices we are about to make? What could happen? This question has kept me from many foolish decisions.
III. Ponder a Plan
The Bible says, Proverbs 24:3-4Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. I know that it is often said that “man proposes and God disposes.” And though it is true that God will ultimately have His way, I believe this type of thinking has led to a great amount of laziness in regards to planning for the future. You are a steward and are responsible to God for what your life accomplishes. Plan it! Begin by conceiving the plan. Give your life to God and then ask him to guide you through His Holy Spirit. While being led by the Spirit you will begin to conceive the things that God wants you to accomplish. Second, draw up a blueprint. If this is what God wants you to do, how are you going to do it? Lastly, execute the plan. Do it! Do it! Get it done!
IV. Collect Counsel
The Bible says, Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. The plan you pondered may be stupid. It might have been a plan conceived through the Holy Spirit, but you drew up a bad blueprint to make it happen. The point is, you need input. So you ought to share your plan with others. Have godly people in your life– spiritual friends, mentors, business associates, and others you respect–whom you can share your plan with. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t like it. It might be a stupid plan. Listen to what they are saying and adjust the plan. How foolish is the individual who sets out for adventure without counsel on direction! Remember to pray for wisdom from our Lord. (James 1)
V. Relax – Trust God
The Bible says, I Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Remember that if it’s truly of God, it will happen. Stop stressing. It’s not part of God’s plan for you to have an ulcer and estranged family. One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we start out in trust and end in self-effort. Remember, if you continue to trust Him, He will continue to direct you. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.