Summary: We desperately need wisdom to make good choices.

Making the Better Choice

(Proverbs 20:19-22)

1. This Fall, our nation will vote for a president and a host of other offices.

2. Have you ever what would have happened “if.”

3. What if Abraham Lincoln had not been elected? What if Nixon had beat Kennedy.

4. The 2,000 election between George Bush and Al Gore was extremely tight. The Supreme Court finally had to decide who won.

5. Choices. We all must make them. Failing to choose is a choice.

6. Sometimes we choose between greater goods; sometimes lesser evils.

7. Sometimes we choose by emotion, feeling, or for the short term. Other times, we choose the way of wisdom, which can run contrary to emotion.

8. Our society over-values emotion; we may emphasize our heart rather than sense.

Main Idea: We desperately need wisdom to make good choices.

I. The Better Choice in FRIENDS (19)

A. Friends who enjoy slander As RECREATION will talk about you, too (19)

1. Gossipers often learn from OTHERS

2. Gossipers are often BORED

3. Gossipers often have no meaningful LIFE of their own

4. Gossip gives the gossipers a sense of CONTROL and IMPORTANCE

B. What does it mean to not “ASSOCIATE?”

C. When it comes to choosing friends, is it your way or God’s WAY?

Proverbs 13:20, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

2 Kings 16:10ff “When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details. And Uriah the priest built the altar; in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Uriah the priest made it, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus.”

Worshipped the god “Hadad” and used the Lord’s altar to consult; predicting the future and a god’s will by looking at animal entrails. [ESV Study Bible]

Application: Do you believe you are vulnerable to being influenced by the wrong friends, or do you think you are somehow exempt and not weak like others?

Do you value sense, even sometimes over-riding your emotions?

II. The Better Choice in Respecting PARENTS (20)

A. Treating your parents with contempt FORECASTS a failed life (20)

• The Torah Law about stoning a rebellious son… (Deuteronomy 21:20)

• You can disagree with your parents, and dislike them, but still respect

B. How do you honor BAD parent(s)?

1. The Love of Duty vs. the Love of the heart

2. Almost everyone has a frustration with their parents

3. Do you have to obey your parents once you are an adult?

4. Adults must not let parents manipulate them, but must talk respectfully

C. Your way or God’s WAY?

Application: Do you respect your parents? Are you teaching your children to respect you? Or do they run your household, and is your agenda pleasing them?

Do you value sense, even sometimes over-riding your emotions?

III. The Better Choice In Settling an INHERITANCE (21)

A. Groping for an inheritance foretells LOSS (21)

B. The PRODIGAL SON learned this the hard way (Luke 15:12)

C. Seeking to gain wealth QUICKLY is a foolish approach

Easy come, easy go.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. (Proverbs 13:11)

Here is an example about William “Bud” Post:

When William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in a 1988 lottery, one of the first things he did was try to please his family…

Unfortunately, his kin was of the unfriendly sort. Post’s brother hired a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit some money. Other family members persuaded him to invest in two businesses that ultimately failed. Post’s ex-girlfriend sued him for some of the winnings. Post himself was thrown in jail for firing a gun at a bill collector.

Over time, Post accumulated so much debt that he had to declare bankruptcy. He now relies on Social Security for income. “Lotteries don’t mean (anything) to me,” he is quoted as saying—after he lost all his money. [source:]

Your way or God’s way?

Application: Are you dreaming of getting rich fast? Drop the dream. Rich humans are still humans. It will not cure all your ills; instant riches would cure some problems but create new ones.

Do you value sense, even sometimes over-riding your emotions?

IV. The Better Choice in REVENGE (22)

A. It is not wrong to WANT to be vindicated

Revelation 6:9-11, “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

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