WEDNESDAY 14th DECEMBER 1983
GUIDANCE AND GOOD JUDGMENT
Reading: Proverbs 3: 1-6 English - Barbara Chinese - Raymond
1 MY SON, NEVER forget the things I've taught you. If you want a long and satisfying life, closely follow my instructions. Never forget to be truthful and kind. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. If you want favour with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don't ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first and he will direct you and crown you with success.
COMMENTARY - Valerie
AN old fable tells of a donkey that came to a place in the road where he saw two small piles of hay —one on the right and one on the left. He was hungry, so he decided to stop. But which pile should he eat? If he filled up on the one, he'd miss out on the other, and it might be better-tasting. As the story goes, he debated so long that he finally died of starvation.
This points up a problem we sometimes encounter in making decisions. Part of the difficulty is that many choices are not simply between good and bad. Rather, there may be several options, all of which are good. God does not expect the conscientious Christian to rush headlong into these choices, nor does He want him to agonize over them.
In his book Knowing God, J. I. Packer says, 'The work of God in these cases is to incline first our judgment and then our whole being to the course which, of all the competing alternatives, He has marked out as best suited for us, and for His glory and the good of others through us." Packer then outlines the following steps for determining the Spirit's leading: (1) think; (2) think ahead; (3) accept advice; (4) question our motives; and (5) wait on the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 tells us not to lean on our "own understanding," but that doesn't mean we should throw common sense out the window. Rather, it teaches that we must couple our own judgment with complete trust in the Lord. God's Spirit illuminates our minds and directs us on a course that's in keeping with our talents and His purposes.
PRAYER (say together)
Our Lord and Heavenly Father, we know that very often we'll encounter difficulties in making important decisions in our lives. However, we thank you for always giving us a helping hand when such instances come. Please help us to rely upon you to show us what to do. In Jesus' Name we pray. A-men.