Bad Decisions #49

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“When people want to win they will go to desperate extremes. However, anyone that has already won in life has come to the conclusion that there is no game. There is nothing but learning in this life and it is the only thing we take with us to the grave—knowledge. If you only understood that concept then your heart wouldn’t break so bad. Jealousy or revenge wouldn’t be your ambition. Stepping on others to raise yourself up wouldn’t be a goal. Competition would be left on the playing field, and your freedom from what other people think about you would light the pathway out of hell.”
― Shannon L. Alder

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How to Fix a Morally-Bad Decisions
Article by Chris Russell

1)   Confess it to God 

“9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:9)

The first step to fixing a sinful mistake is to confess it directly to God. By “confess,” I mean that you should agree with God about how bad it was and ask Him to forgive you for what you did. Amazingly, once we confess our sins to God, He will cast them as far as the east is from the west, and He will remember them no more.

2)   Stop doing that bad thing

“13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”  (Proverbs 28:13)

It’s one thing to confess your sin, and it is another thing to forsake your sin. You must do everything you can to turn away from that sin. This begins with an utter commitment to do whatever it takes to change.

3)   Wrap your head around everything God has said about that issue in the Scriptures.

8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”  (Joshua 1:8)

It is absolutely essential that you learn everything you can about what God has to say about that sinful mistake you have made. When you learn His thoughts, you will begin to pave a path away from that sin and toward restoration. But you just can’t wing it. You must study the Scriptures to know God’s heart on that issue.

“God whispered, “You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn’t you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

4)   Ask for forgiveness from any who were hurt because of your bad decision.

“23 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you.  24 leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”  (Matthew 5:23-24)

When we sin, we often hurt others. Sometimes we don’t even realize how badly we’ve hurt others while we are in the midst of the sin. So, take time to look around and take an honest look at what harm you may have caused others. Then, go to those you have hurt and apologize and do whatever you can to fix that hurt. You may not be able to fix it completely, and they may not even forgive you. But you need to do all that is within your power to make it right.

5)   Set up guardrails in your life that will help you keep from doing that again.

“11 As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.”  (Proverbs 26:11)

“12 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.”  (Proverbs 27:12)

We all have sinful desires, and so we must establish guardrails that will keep us from careening off the road spiritually and wiping out in sin. If you struggle with Internet sin, then enlist an accountability partner who can monitor your online activity. If you struggle with anger, then enlist an accountability partner (a godly friend) who will lean into you to help you do right and correct you when you do wrong. Set up boundaries that will make it impossible for you to do that wrong thing even if you wanted to do that.

6)   Seek godly counsel for solutions in getting back on track.

“14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”  (Proverbs 11:14)

We all need people to speak into our lives to give us a fresh perspective on how to fix our problems. None of us can solve all of our own problems alone. When you find godly advisors who can help to guide you, you will be amazed at how great of ideas they can come up with at times that will help you to find victory. They will see things that you cannot see yourself. It’s sort of like you’re walking around with a “kick-me” sign on your back. Others can see it, but you cannot. A godly counselor can help to remove it from your back.

7)   Surround yourself with a godly support system that will help you to do right.

“13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  (Hebrews 3:13)

In addition to one or two close advisors, you need a whole network of Christian friends who can help you to do right in your life. And the best places to find these close friends will be at church, small group Bible studies, and when you get involved in ministry. These relationships will make a huge difference in strengthening you and helping you to stay on the right path.

8)   Make a long-term commitment to change.

“24 Then Jesus said to his disciples,“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”  (Matthew 16:24-26)

To change, you must be committed to the long term. Plenty of people get into trouble in their lives and show up at church to find a “quick fix.” But then you often see those people fade away after just a few weeks or months. They return to the same old paths of sin that got them into trouble in the first place. So, up front, you must understand that this is a long-term commitment, and you must be committed to changing over the long haul.

“The Christian life is not a sprint; it is a marathon.”

 

“Never stand in the way of letting God use people’s actions, in order to solve a greater issue in the world.” ― Shannon L. Alder

 

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“The most successful people are the most self-aware people.” (Rosenfeld, 2016)

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