The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. Proverbs 14:15
"What were you thinking?" I don't know about you other parents reading this post, but this question comes out of my mouth more than I care to admit. Sometimes it leaves my lips with a bit of frustration, a mixture of bewilderment, and a hint of sarcasm. More often than not, though, I ask this question to my girls in hopes of gaining more insight into their thought process.
The typical response I receive is something along the lines of "I wasn't," "I don't know!" and, my favorite, "ugh...dad, I get it!" I try to meet their mess-ups and missteps with more grace than judgment because I'm often guilty of acting first and thinking later.
I allow my circumstances to dictate my responses. I enable my emotions to serve as my guide. I let my desires drive my words and actions. And as a result, a disconnect takes place. The person staring back at me in the mirror looks nothing like the individual I want to be.
I don't think I'm alone in this battle. Being careless with our steps is part of the human condition. Scripture is full of stories focusing on people who acted without thinking.
Adam and Eve didn't give much thought before sinking their teeth into the apple. Esau didn't recognize the ramifications of trading away his birthright for a bowl of soup. King David saw the beautiful Bathsheba and instantly acted on his desires. Judas failed to consider the cost of offering up Jesus to the authorities for thirty pieces of silver. The list goes on and on.
How much heartbreak, devastation, and hurt could we save ourselves, and those around us, from experiencing if we paused and reflected on the decisions and options before us? More than we can even imagine.
Very few of us want to intentionally cause others pain, break trust, or strain our relationships. The conflicts and struggles that arise come from our foolish behavior. Looking toward the future helps us avoid ruin.
Conviction comes from careful consideration. Discretion leads to direction. Examination spurs on integrity. Wisdom grows in us when we're willing to slow down and reflect on our ways.
Where do you need to hit the pause button and consider the ramifications of the decisions before you?
What would it look like to give thought to your steps in this area?
God, over the years, I've caused a lot of damage due to my careless decision making. I've hurt myself and others. Thank you for forgiving my errors. May I reflect on my actions and realize the power my words and actions hold. I desire to steward my influence well by pursuing wisdom and slowing down. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.