Seriously, don’t be dumb.
Every single day, we are faced with so many choices, and man — we are surrounded by people who make dumb choices, especially ourselves. People who say dumb and hurtful stuff, people who make dumb and selfish choices, people who are just plain dumb.
Not to be judgmental, mean or critical. I mean, we have all done some pretty dumb stuff in life. It just happens. We get caught up the flow of life, in that great bit of gossip, that sale of lifetime, that bargain we will never find again, that friendship that seems sent by God, that relationship we’ve been searching for, and all the little things and habits we look back on and cringe about. It’s just human nature to make unfavorable and dumb choices. As hard as we try, we just can’t help it!
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
— Jeremiah 17:9
Thankfully, we can usually step back later and recognize it: Well, that was dumb!
You know, you can be really smart and really dumb. Knowing all about brain surgery or how to build a rocket pales in comparison to knowing how to walk and live a life for the Lord.
When we open the Bible and it talks about being dumb, it’s not talking about book smarts or street smarts, your IQ or knowing a huge amount of information. No, when God is addressing our dumbness, he’s talking about our lack of spiritual wisdom. A problem with our walk on the road leading home. He is telling us that even though he will not force his wisdom upon us, it is there and readily available to all who seek it.
Be very careful, then, how you live. Not as unwise, but as wise.
— Ephesians 5:15
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
— Colossians 3:16
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
— Proverbs 1:7
Have you ever prayed and asked God to help you not be dumb? If not, why?
When we pray, we pray for all kinds of things. We pray to seek wisdom for certain decisions, walks and choices, for healing, for strength to overcome temptations, for our kids, our families. We pray for just about everything. So why not add that extra prayer request for God to help you stay away from dumb choices?
I don’t want to be dumb. I’m sure you don’t either. And, lucky for us, with someone so wise on our side, being dumb can be a thing of the past.
I read something somewhere that kind of stuck with me:
“I will walk accurately, knowing what the will of the Lord is. I want my life to precisely follow God’s plan and purpose. I know that It is not wise to leave God out of your planning. Nor is it wise to lean to your own understanding. However, It is wise to acknowledge Him in everything, asking Him to direct our path that we might walk in His ways.”
So what should we do when the Bible doesn’t seem to tell us exactly what to do in these situations we face and the decisions we make?
Well, like Casey Coats said in his sermon on Sunday, ask yourself:
“What is the wise thing for me to do? Am I following the current of culture, or am I making a choice that is going to spiritually take me where I want to go?”
- Does it follow what I believe to be of good moral, ethical and spiritual wholeness?
- Does the Bible have anything to say about this decision?
- Who can help me better understand what God’s Word says about this decision?
- Beware of the once-in-a-lifetime deal and instant gratification.
- Don’t let the fear of missing out drive your decision.
- When in doubt, leave it out.
- Look for patterns of behavior or triggers.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- You are never the exception to the rule.
- Remember that God’s way is the best way.
You are not God, and you don’t have it all figured out. And that’s OK. Ask yourself, “What story could God be writing?” Don’t assume that just because something is hard that it is not God’s will and understand how God has uniquely created you.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
— Hebrews 11:6