Sermons

Summary: We’re always in danger of making bad decisions when we leave God out of the picture.

Beware of making bad decisions Joshua 9

Two snakes were slithering down the road when one asked the other, “Are we poisonous?” The other snake said, “I don’t think so, why did you ask?” And he said, “Cause I just bit my lip.”

Have you ever wondered why some of the people you know insist on making dumb decisions when the decisions they make are so obviously wrong? Here are ten reasons that people act like idiots without even knowing it. And as they say in poker, if you can’t spot the sucker at the table, then it’s probably you...

1. First, there are some who know they’re heading in the wrong direction and yet they’ll say, we’ve come this far, we might as well keep on going. Now, I admit there was a time that I realized I was heading in the complete opposite way on the highway and I sped up like that was going to change anything.

But listen, even though we can’t change the past; that doesn’t mean that we can’t turn around and start over again. And I’m not just talking spiritually here but in any area of our lives. I’m sure we’ve all known people who will sink a lot of time and money into something and they’ll think that if they stick with their original plan long enough then somehow everything is going to work out right. The problem is; if their plan was wrong to begin with then the results won’t change but they’ll always be wrong.

For example, I had a friend one time who bought an old car and it looked like a bit of a junker but he said he really got a good deal on it and in a couple of weeks the motor went. And after he put a new motor in it which cost him a little bit more than he paid for the car the transmission went and after he had that replaced all kinds of other little things went, but he said, I’ve already spent so much money on this car and it’s got all these new parts, so, what else can go wrong. And the answer was simple, a lot of things. There comes a time when you have to realize, you’ve made a wrong decision and move on. And maybe you’ve come this far only to realize you’re going the wrong way.

2. Then there’s the totally self-centered individual who doesn’t realize the grief that he or she is causing other people. There was a Harvard study where a couple of volunteers were connected to a device that allowed each of them to exert pressure on the other person’s fingers. The researcher began by exerting a fixed amount of pressure on the first volunteer’s finger and then that person was asked to exert the same amount of pressure on the second person’s finger. Then the second person was asked to exert the same amount of pressure on the first person’s finger, and back and forth.

And although they each tried to respond with equal force, they typically responded with about 40 percent more force than they had just experienced. So, each time one was touched, he touched back harder, and that caused the other one to touch back even harder. And that’s why people who are in a conflict invariably think they are both "right" because neither one thinks they’ve done more wrong to the other person.

Let me give you a practical example that we can all relate to. Have you ever seen family members who were dividing up what remained after the final parent dies? No matter who gets what or how evenly the estate is divided everyone feels like the other one got either more than them or at least more than they should have. And then they destroy what’s left of the family for second hand junk they wouldn’t even look at; at a garage sale. Or as the old saying goes, “Forty for you, sixty for me and equal partners we will be.”

3. Then there are those who will do anything just to prove a point. And we all know that no matter what happens in the world, the political crowd can spin it in a way that that confirms what they were saying all along. A cynical explanation is that politicians twist the truth to get what they want but a more subtle explanation is that our brains tend to search for and interpret information in ways that support our pre-existing opinions.

For instance, let’s say a group approached the town with the idea of placing the big casino they’re planning on building in New Brunswick in Sackville. Well, the Christians would be up in arms about it and they’d complain about the social costs on a community like policing and the level of morality that accompanies gambling which includes drugs and prostitution. And on the other side would be people talking about the jobs it would provide and the possible spin-offs like people coming to town to spend other money on things like food service, shopping and motels. But, both sides would ignore the fact that the reason people build casinos is because the average person who spends their money in a casino is stupid and they’ll sit in a multi-million dollar building and never ask themselves where the money came from to build it even though they’re usually giving these people all the money they have.

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