Summary: We make choices everyday and in order to make the best decisions we need to seek God’s wisdom. This was delivered on graduation Sunday.
The faculty of a college were in their annual meeting when, suddenly, an angel
appeared. Turning to the Dean, the angel said, "I will grant you one of three choices -- infinite wisdom, infinite wealth or infinite health." The Dean thought for a minute, then replied "Wisdom."
"So be it." and the angel disappeared.
In the silence that followed, the Dean sat thoughtfully, saying nothing and staring off into the distance. Finally, one of the other faculty members exclaimed, "Do you have anything to say? What words of wisdom can you give us?"
The Dean replied, "I should have taken the money."
1) Daily Decisions We Make Have Consequences
Every day we make choices, on the job, at school, at home. Will I get up and go to work or school today? Do I call in sick and play hooky? Will I lie to save my own skin? When someone insults me, puts me down, or hurts me how will I react? When I am tempted to do something that sounds fun but might have negative consequences what will I do? How should I handle money? Where should I spend it? Will I work overtime this week because the boss wants me to even though my kid’s game is tonight? Will I help my friend even though I was really looking forward to watching the game?
Each choice we make has consequences whether good or bad, some results we see right away, some results we may never see for years, decades, or even a lifetime. [Story of positive consequence]
I could have a Big Mac, super-size fries and pop at McDonalds today for lunch and it probably won’t have any dire consequences today or tomorrow or but supposing I eat this meal all the time, eventually it will lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and possibly a heart attack.
You’re probably familiar with the verse in the Bible which says, “You reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7).” Which means if you are planting bad choices you will see eventually bad consequences, if you make good choices you will eventually see good consequences.
The choices we make do make a difference.
2) Wisdom is the ability to consistently make good choices
There is a word for being able to make the right decision every time. The word is wisdom. Webster’s Dictionary defines wisdom as: “Having the knowledge of what is true or right coupled with good judgment.” In other words, according to Webster, a wise person is one who knows what is true and right and then is able to make the right decision. Wisdom should not be confused with knowledge or common sense. Knowledge you can pick up in a book, taking a class, watching Dr. Phil. A person who is wise has nothing to do with how smart they are, or what kind of grades they get in school, or what kind of job they have. Some of the smartest people make the dumbest choices because they lack wisdom.
Just to demonstrate that smart people don’t always make the best decision. The Reuters news agency reported the following story:
A Massachusetts doctor and Harvard graduate has been suspended for leaving a patient on the operating table midway through spinal surgery so he could deposit a check at his local bank.
The state board of medicine said David Arndt, an orthopedic surgeon, posed "an immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare" after he left the patient last month with an open incision in his back.
According to Reuters, Arndt left behind a surgeon who was not qualified to complete the surgery. After his 35-minute trip to the bank, Arndt returned to the operating room and finished the surgery within a few hours.
The doctor’s license to practice medicine in Massachusetts has been suspended, but he will have a chance to appeal the decision. Arndt, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, was not available for comment on his suspension.
SOURCE: Preaching Now Vol. 1, No. 20, Tue 9/3/2002 7:41 AM.
We probably all know smart people who made bad choices. Company CEO’s, presidents, even pastors.
3) God is the source of all wisdom
How does a person gain wisdom so that we consistently make the right choices? The book of Proverbs in the Bible which is frequently known as the book of wisdom says this:
NIV Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
The Bible tells us God is the source of wisdom. God is the one who helps us make good choices every time. Which makes sense because God knows everything, he created everything, and he knows the future. God knows the result of every decision we will ever make before we even make it. Unfortunately we tend to rely on our own wisdom and understanding. We ask ourselves, ‘does this feel right to me,’ ‘will this make me happy,’ or ‘does it make sense to me,’ which may work for us for a while, but eventually if all we rely on is our own wisdom and understanding we’re going to steer ourselves in the wrong direction perhaps even make a disastrous choice because we made our decision on based on our own limited abilities rather than God’s. Using your own judgment alone will cause you at some point to fail morally, destroy a relationship with a friend or family member because of what you said or did, misuse money, something will happen.