Decisions and Consequences

Decisions have consequences! Good decisions normally lead to good consequences and bad decisions to bad consequences. Pity the referee who blows a call, leading to a bad consequence. It’s happened twice recently.  On June 3, Detroit Tiger pitcher, Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce called the runner safe at first base. Instant replay clearly shows that the runner was out, robbing Galarraga of one of the most coveted honors a major league pitcher can ever receive. It happened again last Friday in a World Cup match between the U.S. and Slovenia when referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali disallowed a goal by the U.S.A. soccer team that would have won the game and put the Americans in first place in their division. Again, instant replay called his decision into doubt. Instead of having a comfortable lead in points and a guaranteed advance to the next round, the Americans have to win their final game. A loss and they come home. Bad decisions, bad consequences.

But those are only games. Nothing of significant value is at stake. Certainly nothing of eternal value. However, some of the decisions that you will make today will have far more important consequences, for you as well as for other people. If you make good decisions they will lead to good consequences but if you make bad decisions they will lead to bad consequences. The question is: How can you make the right kind of decisions? How can you make Godly decisions that will have a spiritual impact on people?

Let me give you two suggestions:

1. Trust God instead of yourself to make the right decision.

One of my favorite Bible passages is Proverbs 3:5-6. My mother wrote these verses inside the front cover of the first Bible I owned as a child. They are still relevant today.

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 direct your paths.

One reason that we make bad decisions is because we trust in our own wisdom to guide us. The problem is that our wisdom has been contaminated by sin so that we can’t make the right kind of decisions without help. That’s where God comes in. If you trust God to lead you in life, He will give you the guidance you need to make the right decisions. How does He do that? Here’s my second suggestion.

2. Immerse yourself in God’s Word.

It is through the Word of God that God leads us and gives us the wisdom to make good decisions. Another Bible verse that I learned at a very young age was Psalm 119:105. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Have you ever tried to walk on an unfamiliar path in the woods on a dark, moonless night without a flashlight? The chances are good that you will trip over something before you reach your destination. Life is like that unfamiliar path; without a light to guide you, you’re going to go through life stumbling and tripping like you have two left feet. Fortunately, God has given us a light and the more we use it, the less we’ll stumble. Immerse yourself in the Word of God and you’ll make a lot more good decisions and a lot fewer bad ones.

I’m sure that if either umpire Joyce or referee Coulibaly could go back and make their call again they would make it differently. I’m sure that most of us would do the same thing with decisions that we have made in the past. However, you don’t get “do overs” in life. But what you do get is another opportunity to make a good decision because God is a god of grace. And grace gives us opportunity after opportunity to make good and Godly decisions. So if you’ve already blown it today, just wait, you’ll have another opportunity to make a good decision.

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:14).

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve

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