Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:15-17
So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Ephesians 5:15
OK, SO YOU ate two beef burritos and a large bowl of spicy chili and topped it all off with a tall glass of eggnog—then threw up all over your Aunt Rita’s birthday cake?
And you say you told your dad he couldn’t go golfing on Saturday because of the party Mom was planning for him—which no one told you was a surprise party?
And then you promised Mrs. Farquard that you’d ask your sister to baby-sit the woman’s eighteen children while she had a brain transplant? But you forgot, and Mrs. Farquard had to cancel her surgery, and her doctor gave the brain to someone else?
Wow, rough day, huh? Well, maybe that’s never happened to you, but things like that do happen, and they can make you feel awful. But it’s important to remember that not every poor choice you make is a wrong choice. For example, take a look at the following pairs of choices: One is clearly a wrong choice. The other—while it may be regrettable, even embarrassing—is not necessarily a wrong choice.
Wrong Choice: Lying to your mother about your trip to the beach
Poor Choice: Lying on the beach until your skin starts to bubble like an egg in a frying pan
Wrong Choice: Using a bad, bad word when you hit your thumb with a hammer
Poor Choice: Hitting your head with the hammer after you hit your thumb
Wrong Choice: Putting Ex-Lax [laxative] in the dog’s food dish
Poor Choice: Letting the dog sleep in your bed after you put Ex-Lax in his food
Seriously, all of us make mistakes from time to time. Sometimes those mistakes are really wrong choices or sins—we do something God has told us not to do. But sometimes our mistakes are simply poor choices; we may be doing something foolish, but we’re not disobeying God or our parents.
The important thing is not to excuse wrong choices and not to feel guilty about poor choices. Accept responsibility for both. Apologize for both. Try as hard as you can to avoid both. But don’t confuse the two.
REFLECT: what’s the difference between a wrong choice and a poor choice? Should we feel guilty about both? Should we accept responsibility for both? Apologize for both? Try to avoid both?
ACT: As you’re reading or watching television this week, be alert for choices the characters make. Try to identify which choices are wrong choices and which are simply poor choices.
PRAY: “Lord, give me the wisdom to avoid wrong choices today. Help me stay away from poor choices too.”