Making wise decisions can be difficult! One of our jobs as parents is to help our children make wise decisions. We also ought to model for them how to make wise decisions. Have you ever considered how to teach them to make wise decisions? Wisdom has been defined as the right use of knowledge or the ability to discern and come to right judgements. The Bible says that a wise person, regardless of age, is one who fears the Lord (Prov 9:10). The Bible also says a wise person is one who obeys the Lord (Deut 4:5-6). Lastly, the Bible says that a wise person is humble (Prov 11:2).
So, we see, a wise person is one who in humility obeys and fears the Lord. But how does that work itself out in the life of a student (or adult) who has a choice to make and who wants to honor the Lord? The Bible shows us that there is a way for a person to consistently make wise choices that honor the Lord and edify other believers around them.
With each choice presented to us, a student (or anyone for that matter) must first take it to the Word and see what the Bible says about the choice. Does the Bible expressly forbid or allow this? If it doesn’t speak directly to the topic, then we will need to infer some general principals from God’s Word to help us. Phil 4:8 says that we should think about (and by extension watch, listen to, and participate in) anything that is honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise. So, if what you want to do fits within that, then you’ve met your first green light!
Next, a wise student will take his choice to his parents to seek their counsel and wisdom. At times, a parent’s judgement may be more restrictive than God’s Word. Regardless, it is necessary that the student submit as God’s Word clearly says (Eph 6:1). Remember, parents, that we don’t want to needlessly frustrate our children (Col 3:21). At a minimum, as they get older, we should be willing to provide reasonable explanations for our decisions. If a student receives a green light from his parents too, then he should move on to the next step.
Once a student has checked the Word and with his parents, he needs next to listen to his conscience. He may have the freedom to do a thing from his parents and God’s Word, but it may make him feel guilty or bad. If that is the case, he shouldn’t do that thing. The Bible says that it is not wise nor prudent to violate your conscience (Acts 24:16). But, if your conscience is clear, move on to the next step.
The second to last step a wise student will take is to consider the conscience of other believers around him. Will his choice and his freedom cause a brother or sister to stumble and sin? If so, then the wise choice is self-denial (1 Cor 8:13). Don’t do it, whatever it may be. Part of wise, obedient, humble decision-making is denying ourselves as Jesus Himself did on His way to the cross (Matt 26:39) Lastly, but certainly not least, the wise student will pray and ask the Lord for wisdom because God gives freely without criticizing to all those who ask for wisdom (James 1:5).
Making wise decisions is often not the fun and easy choice. But, for the glory of God and the good of our brothers and sisters in the faith, we should always choose the wise choice. Parents, as we seek to model wise decision making lets make it a point to intentionally teach our children how to make such choices and ask God for the wisdom necessary to do so.