I believe that our lives are the product of the choices that we make.
There are big choices which will affect the rest of our lives, and there are small everyday choices which set the direction of our lives each day. The big choices, like whether or not to marry, get much of the attention. However, it is often the culmination of all the various small choices that truly plot the direction of our lives.
Since all choices are important it is essential that we have the proper foundation for making good choices. We discover this foundation in the Bible.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27; NLT
According to Jesus the foundation for being wise is Scripture. Remember the entire Bible contains the words of Jesus. The wisdom we need to make good choices comes from the Bible.
This leads us to ask an important question: How do we go about laying a foundation of Scripture to build on choices on?
Looking at this parable Jesus taught we find three actions we must do in order to lay Scripture as the foundation of our decision making.
- We must LISTEN to Jesus. Listening implies an active intent on part of the listener. A hearer is passive. If we have healthy functioning ears then we hear the various sounds of life. Listening, on the other hand, requires us to focus, tuning out the other sounds, in order to hear what is important. It isn’t enough just read the Bible. We must come to the Bible with the desire to understand what God wants us to know, and how that word applies to our lives.
- We must BELIEVE Jesus. We can listen to what Jesus has to say, but if we don’t believe him then we will not apply his teaching to our lives. Belief in Jesus is what separates the foolish from the wise. The foolish will listen to Jesus, but because they do not believe who he is or what he says, they will not allow his words to affect their lives. The wise believe Jesus is the Son of God and the result is that they trust what he says. The choices they make are a result of this trust.
- We must CHANGE the way we live. This action step is the extension of believing Jesus. You have to first believe before you can change. Change is the application of belief. The action of change shouts to the world that we trust Jesus. Trusting Jesus means we will adjust our lives to his word. We will align our lives with his will, even when the choice means we will live in away that is opposite of the world around us. Jesus said the fool listens, but does not change his life. In contrast the wise listens and obeys.
Every single day we are faced with choices. Many times we do not have the time we would like to consider all the options. In this fast paced world how do we lay a solid foundation that will help us make wise decisions? We build our lives on the word of God, committed to listening to Jesus, to believing Jesus, and changing our lives.
Without this solid foundation we will be at the mercy of the changing winds of this world. With the solid foundation of God’s Word we are able to stand against whatever storms come our way.