Many people reading this are in the midst of making a big decision. Should I marry this person? Should I ask this person to marry me? Should I stay in this dating relationship, when people who love me tell me it’s no good? Where should I go to college? What should I major in? Should I change careers if it means short-term sacrifices for my family, with no guarantee of success? Should I stay in a job I don’t enjoy, but that pays the bills? Should I send my child to the school in our neighborhood, or to a higher-ranked school that is further away? Should I move so that my child will be zoned to a better school? Should I pull my child out of the public schools altogether? Should I let my adult child move back in with me, when that didn’t work out so well last time? Should I move back in with my parents, when I’m not sure we’ll get along any better than we did when I was growing up? Should I retire now or work a few more years? Should I try to convince my elderly parent to move into an assisted living facility, or move them in with me? If you’re not facing a decision like that now, you will be soon. Life is made up of decisions. The average person makes around 35,000 decisions every day, starting when the alarm clock goes off, and you decide whether to get out of bed or hit snooze. The pessimists among us say, “That’s a lot of opportunities to mess things up!” So how can we know what to do?
Making decisions well is a skill that the Bible calls wisdom. Wisdom is different than academic intelligence; the wise person may not score any higher than you or me on his SATs, but he knows how to choose the right path. Again, wisdom is a skill. That means it can be learned, just like the ability to ride a bike. How do we learn it? The Bible says Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. He compiled the book of Proverbs to be a guide in teaching us wisdom, the art of good decision-making. Here’s what he had to say about where wisdom comes from: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Pr. 1:7). For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Pr. 2:6) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. (Pr. 3:5-6) So wisdom comes from God, and from God alone. But why doesn’t God just give us the answers Himself? If He knows all things, why not just send us a clear message on each of our 35,000 decisions? Because He wants to shape us into wise men and women, the kind of people who know how to choose the right path.
In this series, we'll talk about ways God speaks to us, guides us and makes us wise. But we'll start this Sunday by looking at the main factor we need to consider any time we have a decision to make. I hope you'll DECIDE to be there!