Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Making Wise Decisions

EPHESIANS 5:15-16 – Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

Today’s scripture doesn’t mention the word “decision” but it is implied with loud voices all over it. Let me explain. When making decisions, what are the two categories? Unwise and wise. After making decisions, what is involved in executing the decision? Time. So, in a very real way, the Apostle Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians are an exhortation toward making wise decisions. Let’s consider three things helping us make decisions we will not regret when life is over.

First, never make an impulsive, life-altering decision when emotionally drained and physically exhausted. In both or either condition, our abilities to reason, discern, and then decide are severely impaired. And in these states, often, the decision we make will be regretted. Maybe not in the moment or day, but likely the time will come when we are looking back, we will shake our heard in remorse. Here is when the wise counsel of the prophet Isaiah must be heeded – Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:30-31).

Another important principle in making wise decisions is closely related to the first; don’t make any major decision when we are hurt by others, angry, have been betrayed, and are reeling in emotional pain. Why? Because the decision will be based almost exclusively on relieving pain without thinking of the long-term consequences. A Biblical principle to apply when tempted to let emotions be our decision-maker is in the first seven verses of Psalm 37 – Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Finally, let every major decision pass through the lens of eternity – As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). Friends, all this life: our marriages, parenting, vocations, pursuits, desires, goals, money, time, energy, gifts, and talents are given to us by God to be used for His glory AND the furtherance of His Gospel. They are not given for us to hoard and center on our pleasure. Think about that truth when planning and if they don’t pass that test, don’t make the decision.

Life is short. Live with wisdom and also when making decisions for those decisions determine the course of our lives.

PRAYER: “Father, help me to make life’s decisions that are eternity-centered.”

QUOTE: “Don’t let temporal pursuits be your decision-makers in life. They lead to regret at life’s end.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Jim