Website owner: James Miller
Making decisions. We all make them all the time. Big decisions and little decisions. We make big decisions such as who we will marry, what profession or occupation we are going to pursue, where we will work, where we will live, etc. And we make small decisions: how we will respond to a problem that has suddenly come up during our day, what we will fix for dinner, what store we will go to to purchase an item that we need or want, how we are going to respond to a question someone has just asked us, whether we are going to study hard and do our school lessons or not, etc. Every day is filled with a myriad of decisions. And these decisions are often not simple. They are often complex, involving many facets and considerations, pros and cons. Often some kind of risk or danger is involved and one has to assess the degree and likelihood of that danger in making the decision. Whether one is investing money in the stock market, choosing a spouse, accepting a job, lending money to someone, or buying a used car, there can be all kinds of hidden dangers. The right decision is not always easy to know. Decisions usually involve calling on our store of knowledge and previous experience. But as complicated as the considerations may be, we usually quickly assess all the many factors, make our decision, and go. And many of these decisions we make shape and make our life. They can make us or break us. And underneath all these decisions we make all the time is personal judgment. Personal judgment, good sense, discernment is what makes the world go around. It is behind everything. It is behind all the important decisions made in this world. It is the most important ability a person can have. By it we all live or die. No other ability is so important to a person as judgment and good sense. We all must make our own decisions. No one can make them for us. Not even those who love us most and are closest to us. Once we are adults, of age, we can do anything we wish. We are free to act as foolishly, as stupidly, as we wish. And we all live with the decisions that we ourselves have made. The fool lives with the consequences of his foolish decisions and the wise man lives with the consequences of his wise decisions. The quality of our life is directly related to the quality of the decisions we make. Our life at any moment is pretty much the end result of the accumulating aggregate of all the decisions we have made over our lifetime. Good decisions come from good judgment and good judgment is closely connected with knowledge, understanding, a seeking and inquiring mind, seriousness, and a habit of reflective thought. Poor judgment is closely connected with ignorance, lack of understanding, lack of reflective thought. Closely connected with personal judgment is another important element: personal values, outlooks and attitudes. The godly, upright man of principle makes one kind of decisions. The ungodly, unprincipled man makes very different kinds of decisions. Generally speaking the man of good judgment is that upright man ruled by sense, reason and conscience. It is that man who does those things tht he ought to do, those things that conscience requires; that man who is attentive to that debt that we all owe to ourselves, to do that which is right. Not all men are ruled by sense, reason and conscience. The common mind is more likely to be ruled by impulse, feeling and base appetite. It is the godly, reflective mind that is ruled by something higher. We see a person engage in some foolish action or conduct. It may be something he has done or something he has failed to do. We ask ourselves why he did it. Why did he do that? His action revealed an error in judgment. What causes errors in judgment? What causes bad judgment? Bad judgment is generally caused by distortion of judgment by some distorting agent. What do we mean? What might this distorting agent be? What kind of agents are we talking about? It could be one or more of the following: laziness, cowardice, vanity, ego, pride, anger, hatred, romantic infatuation, lust, envy, jealousy, greed, etc. And because these distorting agents tend to be sins we can see that foolishness and sin are closely connected. Many of these agents, such as laziness, cowardice, or vanity, for example, tend to be deeply engrained habits that present themselves as character traits. A lazy person or a coward or a vain person, for example, often makes poor judgments because of the distorting influence of their character weaknesses. Their weaknesses rule, distort and overpower their judgment. In the case of a lazy person a large portion of the decisions and actions that he makes every day may be strongly influenced or decided by his laziness. How he does things, what he does and doesn't do, almost everything he does, may be determined by his laziness. Thus we see how a character defect can affect a person's judgment and his life. Everyone does his own thinking; no one can do it for him. Everyone manages his own life; everyone manages his own house. I manage my house. My wife manages her house. If one has children each child manages his own house. No one can manage our houses for us. We have to do it ourselves. Some people are conscientious, work hard, manage intelligently and responsibly, do those things that they ought to do when they ought to do them, listen to that voice within when it speaks, and have clean, well-swept, orderly houses. Other people are sloppy, indifferent and careless, do nothing that they ought to do, manage their houses stupidly and foolishly, and have dirty, unkempt, slovenly, disorderly houses. Feb 2004 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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