Integrity preaching of the Bible; God's Word as it was written. People acting as Christians, not just saying they are Christians. Twisting or refuting God's Word is Blasphemy.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Learning How To Avoid Making Bad Decisions
"One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home exhausted and hungry from a hunt. Esau said to Jacob, "I'm starved! Give me some of that red stew you've made." (This was how Esau got his other name, Edom - "Red.") Jacob replied, "All right, but trade me your birthright for it." "Look, I'm dying of starvation!" said Esau. "What good is my birthright to me now?" So Jacob insisted, "Well then, swear to me right now that it is mine." So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his younger brother. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate and drank and went on about his business, indifferent to the fact that he had given up his birthright" (Genesis 25:29-34, NLT).
How many of you have made bad decisions in your life? It may have been five, ten or even twenty years ago and you are still paying for them. A decision that took only moments to make ends up costing you years of your life trying to recover from it. It may have been a financial, marital, relational or occupational decision that has shaped your world as it exists today. One thing is for sure: If you knew then, what you know now, you would have chosen differently.
For some of you, one bad decision has kept you from experiencing the fullness and purpose that God has for you in your life. However, bad decisions do not have to be fatal - they can also be formative. One of the most difficult but necessary skills we must develop in life is how to make decisions. When we make the best decisions, we gain ground. When we make good decisions, we maintain ground. However, when we make bad decisions, we lose ground and oftentimes much more. There is no formula that can be applied to every situation that will enable us to avoid making bad decisions. However, the Bible does contain principles that can be applied to our situations to enable us to make the best decisions possible considering our circumstances.
In Genesis chapter 25, the Bible presents us with a situation in which Esau makes a bad decision. Not only does his decision impact his life, but the lives of generations to come. If Esau where here today, I believe he would give the following advise:
1. Never make a decision while needy. "Esau arrived home exhausted and hungry from a hunt. Esau said to Jacob, "I'm starved! Give me some of that red stew you've made" (verse 29-30).
A man could sell a thirsty man a glass of water for all he owns. This actually happened when Joseph was placed over Egypt during the great famine. People came from far and near giving him all their money, land and the right to 20% of their future produce. "Need" clouds our vision and ability to make sound decisions. Whenever we make decisions in the midst of a crisis, or ones that are based on need, it will more than likely be shortsighted decisions and will end up costing us disproportionately more than what we received.
2. Never allow anyone to make you decide "now" on something that can wait. "Jacob replied, "All right, but trade me your birthright for it." (verse 31).
There are very few decisions in life that need to be made right now on the spot. Often, by waiting and praying prior to making a decision, we can more fully take into consideration the totality of our situation and the consequences of making the decision. If someone tries to pressure you into making a decision right now about something that doesn't require an immediate decision, you will more than likely regret the decision.
3. Avoid empowering or exaggerating your need. Jacob replied, "All right, but trade me your birthright for it." "Look, I'm dying of starvation!" said Esau. "What good is my birthright to me now?"
Often, we become victim to pressure because we exaggerate or create a need that does not exist. Esau was not dying - he was merely hungry. His exaggerated perception of his situation, paved the way for him to lose what was most valuable to him. We know that the birthright was important to him because in the Book of Hebrews we are told that he sought after it with great weeping (Hebrews 12:17).
4. Never exchange something enduring for something temporary. "Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate and drank and went on about his business, indifferent to the fact that he had given up his birthright"
When Esau finished eating his stew, the fact remained, that he would become hungry again, but Jacob now owned an enduring blessing and birthright. Decisions that are made based on your flesh will more than likely be bad ones. These decisions generally momentary satisfy, but have long-term consequences.
Short sighted and quick decisions are a major means by which the enemy robs Believers of the blessings that God places in our lives. Since God has given you authority over the enemy and his kingdom, he must convince you to give him what he cannot take. He's been using the same trick from the very beginning. It was a bad decision that caused Adam and Eve to fall in the garden. Satan offered them a piece of fruit for something eternal.
You may be struggling to overcome the consequences of bad decisions made in your past and wondering how you can stop paying interest on something that happened years ago. The answer is - by making good, better and the best decisions now. It was a good decision that empowered you to overcome the death Adam caused by his fall. Make better decisions today and experience all God has planned for your tomorrow!
By Dr. J.C. Matthews, Senior Pastor of Dunamis Life Ministries and Chancellor of The International Kingdom Institute.
I am a 53 yr old businessman and I came across a subject for which I took up an interest a few years ago. That developed into other things and changed my whole direction in life. My biggest hurdle in accomplishing my book has been incorrect or missing data for which I developed a new passion. Christian is, as Christian does.