One of mankind’s greatest pursuits is finding answers to our questions. We don’t just want answers, we need them. Every day of our lives is filled with new questions and the pursuit of answers to those questions. One of the most common and most troubling questions concerns what we should do in a particular situation. The answer to this question is not always obvious.
In his book The Best Question Ever, Andy Stanley presents us with a question that, if taken seriously and answered thoughtfully and honestly, can guide us in finding the often elusive answer to the simple question, “What should I do?” Here is how he states the “best question ever”:
In light of my past circumstances, present realities, and future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?
Stanley’s question asks us to consider three different things when trying to discern the wise thing to do: our past, our present and our desired future. He appears to be saying that we cannot make a truly wise decision without considering who we were in the past, who we are today, and who we hope to be in the future. Only then can we wisely answer the question, “What should I do?”
It’s not natural for us to take the time and thoughtfully consider our past, present and future when making decisions. The born-again child of God may be a new creation on the inside, but still treads this earth housed in sinful flesh that chases after sinful desires, with no desire to thoughtfully consider our past, present and future in order to make wise decisions. And the lost person is a foolish sinner on the inside, housed in sinful flesh, who chases after sinful desires with their whole person, having no desire whatsoever to make wise decisions.
It appears to me that, as hard as it is to take the time to thoughtfully consider our past, present and future when making decisions, it’s not the considering that’s the hardest part. The real challenge is truly knowing and understanding who we were, who we currently are, and what future we should be hoping for.
The lost person is truly hopeless in this pursuit. God’s Word says that sin has blinded the lost person to spiritual truth. The lost person is completely blind to who they were and who they currently are. They do not know that they are rebellious sinners that defy their God with every breath they breathe, and that every moment of their sinful existence is an offense to a holy God. And they surely don’t know that their future is one of unspeakable horror. Unless God removes sin’s blinders and opens their eyes by a divine act of grace, they will never truly know who they were, who they are and what their future holds, and consequently will never have the ability to consider their past, present and future in an attempt to make wise decisions about what they should do.
Now, the born-again child of God has had God remove sin’s blinders and open their eyes to their past, which was part of the salvation he bestowed upon them. But they still require a continued divine act of grace to daily open their eyes to who they are now, because sin still has the ability to blind the believer’s eyes to the truth of who they are. And sin also still has the ability to sway their future hopes away from what they should be.
So, while Andy Stanley’s “best question ever” will help you make wise decisions and answer the question “What should I do?” by guiding you to consider your “past circumstances, present realities, and future hopes and dreams,” you will not be able to consider these things unless you first have God remove sin’s blinders and open your eyes to the truth about who you were, who you are now and who you should be in the future.
Truth must be known before it can be considered. Sin blinds you to truth. God removes sin’s blinders and opens your eyes to truth. Only then can you consider these truths and make wise decisions. Wise decisions always begin with God’s divine act of grace.
If you are a born-again child of God, thank him for opening your eyes to your past and saving you, and beg him to continue to open your eyes to who you are today and who he wants you to be. If God has opened your eyes and revealed to you that you are a lost sinner headed for eternal destruction, thank him for opening your eyes to your past, present and horrific future, and call out to him to save you and make you his child. Only then will you be able to use the “best question ever” to make wise decisions and be able to wisely answer the question, “What should I do?”