In his book “Ask It,” Andy Stanley focuses on one specific question that if applied to your life correctly will help you make better decisions. While the book includes numerous examples of real life experiences, it’s also rooted in biblical principles.
The main question is simple, yet powerful and revolutionary. Applying it to your life can help you avoid pitfalls such as financial turmoil, broken relationships, addictions, and more.
The question derives from a scripture found in the book of Ephesians in chapter 5:15-17:
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
This scripture has a focus on “making the most of every opportunity,” which calls us to be wise with the choices we make.
Although we make decisions in present time (since we are always living in the present), the question also takes your future and your past into consideration. That being said, here’s the question (in the present form) that was worth writing a book about:
“In light of my current circumstances, what is the wise thing to do?”
Asking this questions provides us with clarity and instantly eliminates unwise options, let alone the foolish ones. It challenges us to choose what’s best and what glorifies God the most, not what is comfortable in the moment.
It’s much easier to ask questions such as, “Is there anything wrong with what I am doing?” or “How close can I get to the line between right and wrong without actually sinning?” These questions are weak attempts to justify poor decisions. In other words, we deceive ourselves.
Many things in our lives may not be considered “sinful” or “wrong,” but they can often place us in compromising situations. By asking ourselves if the decision is wise, we minimize the chances of compromise and avoid regrets.
“In light of your past experiences, what is the wise thing to do?”
Everyone has different tendencies and temptations based on their genetic make up and their upbringing. Because of this, we must take our past experiences into account when making decisions. While certain things may cause you to struggle, other people will find it completely normal, and vice versa.
For example, if you have a history of gambling addiction, you may want to decline your co-worker’s invitation to the casino. I mean, it’s not wrong to go to the casino, but it certainly is unwise if it has the potential to re-awaken your addiction.
“In light of your future dreams and aspirations, what is the wise thing for you to do?”
The decisions today will directly or indirectly affect your future. I’ve seen too many people (including myself) make poor decisions in their teenage years and find themselves reaping the consequences of their actions well into adulthood.
When making decisions, you must also ask yourself what’s the wise thing to do in light your future aspirations, whether it be professionally, financially, relationally, spiritually, or physically.
Also, don’t hesitate to seek advice from people in your life who are more experienced and wiser than you in a given area. This provides you with a broader perspective, helping you to formulate a decision based on the advice you receive.
Life is too short to live aimlessly. Don’t settle for less. Choose the wise decision and live the best possible life you can live.