Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You Can Be Wise (Part 3)

God said to Solomon, "Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you." (2 Chronicles 1:11-12)  Holman Christian Study Bible

How many times have we found ourselves perplexed, bewildered and frustrated when attempting sort out life situations?  What should I do?  Is this the right decision?  What if...?  The value of wisdom is in the peace and confidence it gives us in life.  Let’s consider a few ways we can equip ourselves to live wisely.

1.    A wise person values right and seeks to discern the difference between right and wrong when making decisions.

Daily we are confronted with dilemmas to resolve.  Daily for us, in Frost's words, "two roads converge in a yellow wood" and we stand wondering which avenue to follow.
·      "Should I accept this job or look for another?"
·      "Should I pursue this romance or end it?"
·      "Should I practice tough love or be gentle and nurturing with my child in this situation?"
·      "Should I take this risk? What would it cost? Who could it hurt?"
·      "Should I retaliate?" "Should I give this person yet another chance?"
·      "Do I follow head or heart?"

The list is endless. Frequently we find ourselves faced with difficult choices, often not choices between good and bad but rather between bad and worse. Answers, at least the right ones, are not easy to come by.  

Some turn to the simple question, “What Would Jesus Do?”  This, of course, requires knowing Jesus!  It’s the same thing Solomon said when he pointed to knowing God as the source of wisdom.
However, what Jesus would do is not always the easiest of options.  Often Jesus maintained a difficult and unpopular course.  But we can remain certain He always did the right thing; and consulting and following his will, we shall, too.

"So, how do I know what Jesus would do?"  The answer is available in three words: scripture, prayer and consultation.

·      When ethical decisions must be faced, read the Sermon on the Mount.  When relational difficulties demand action, read of his dealings with publicans and prostitutes, the lame and the lost. Read the 15th chapter of Luke and its stories of reclamation and grace.

·      Spend time in prayer as Jesus did, remembering that "prayer is essentially listening to God."
·      Seek the counsel of a trusted Christian minister or friend who knows you and will be honest with you.
These three things will help us determine what Jesus would have done had he walked in our shoes.  The next decision we have to make is whether we will have the courage of Christ to do what is right.  Tough decisions before you today?  WWJD them!

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

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