What is the Wise Thing to Do?
Raising kids and guiding them through the tough choices of life is one of the hardest tasks that I have encountered as a parent. As an example, I have heard my own kids down through the years ask one particular question more than any other in the context of trying to discern between right and wrong. That question is: “What’s wrong with doing this or what’s wrong with this idea or belief?” I love answering that question because it gives me the opportunity to share a new perspective with my kids.
First, I will address their question or issue and then I will propose to them a new line of thinking. In addressing their question, I give them a formula I learned for discerning between right and wrong that I learned from author Jerry Bridges in his book “The Pursuit of Holiness.”
Bridges shares two verses to guide us in the pursuit of right and wrong. First, 1 Corinthians 6:12 states: “All things are lawful for me, but all are not profitable; all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” The second verse is 1 Corinthians 10:31, which declare: “Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” From these verses, Bridges poses three questions we all should ask about any issue that we are considering.
- Is it profitable spiritually for me?
- Is it going to bring me under its power?
- Does it bring glory to God?
As you can see, these verses and questions make a pretty compelling case spiritually for our directions and decisions. This formula from God’s Word that is illustrated by Jerry Bridges has helped me tremendously over the years in helping my kids discern between right and wrong.
After this explanation, I can help them go to a different level of thinking. I remind them that God never meant for us to live our lives asking what’s wrong with doing this or that. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came to give us life and give it to us more abundantly. In other words, God desires to give us His best and I do not believe that ever means trying to spend our time figuring out how to get by spiritually. I encourage them instead to spend their lives wisely in search of God’s best for their lives. Instead, they should be asking “God, what is the best thing or the wise thing?”
Indeed, parenting is hard work and I too have made many mistakes. However, I always wanted to point my kids towards developing an intimate loving relationship with God and give them scriptural guidelines for making decisions. When they grasp this truth, then it becomes so exciting to see them begin to pursue God’s best for their lives.
Let’s covenant together as parents to pray for each other and all of our students as we seek to guide them in finding Godly wisdom for their lives. The Bible tells us in Luke 2:52 that Jesus was raised to grow in wisdom. May God give our children that same Godly wisdom.