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THE BEST QUESTION EVER?
By ANDY STANLEY
Multnomah Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2004 North Point Ministries, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSession 1 The Best Question Ever
Every time we make a decision, it is preceded by a series of questions. Sometimes we ask them out loud; sometimes we simply process them in our subconscious. We ask questions like "How much can I afford?" "What are the risks?" "How will this feel?" "How much will I make?" "How much could I lose?" "What are my chances?" Whether you realize it or not, the questions you ask yourself eventually determine your decision.
As a general rule, people operate by two primary tenets: First, we want to get the most out of life; and second, we want to avoid getting into trouble. Therefore, as we evaluate our options in a decision, we tend to focus on whether or not our choices will violate any rules or commandments. If they don't, we often assume they are acceptable. Whether it's a financial decision, a moral choice, a business move, or a relationship, our tendency is to see how close we can get to the edge-and then make our decision accordingly.
But with this approach, many Christians simply ask the wrong questions. According to Scripture, the question is not whether something is moral, ethical, legal, or harmful. For Christians, there's another question that's even more important than those. In thissession, we'll discover the Best Question Ever when it comes to making decisions that can impact our lives.
Rules of Engagement
Imagine a major magazine is doing a celebrity profile of you. They are collecting interesting tidbits about you that capture who you are and how you think. They want to know your favorite food, your fondest memory, your philosophy for relationships, and your ideas on politics. As part of their brief bio, they ask you to name the three criteria you use to make all your personal decisions. How would you answer? Write these three criteria in the space below. Discuss your answers among the group.
(Example: 1. Does it leave the world better than I found it? 2. What does the Bible say about it? 3. Is it the right thing at this point in my life?)
From the video message, fill in the blanks.
1. The question we must begin to ask is: "Is it the ______________________ thing for me to do?"
"If you're asking the wrong question, it doesn't matter what the answer is."
Take a few moments to discuss your answers to these questions with the group.
1. We all make dumb decisions. Give examples of some of the really dumb decisions you've seen people make. 2. What are some of the reasons we make unwise decisions?
3. Recall a wise decision you have made and how that impacted your life.
4. What is a foolish decision you have made that caused you regret?
5. What decision are you considering now, and how has this discussion affected your thinking?
6. In what specific area of your life do you need the wisdom of God?
* When making decisions, our tendency is to ask, "What is acceptable?" * Paul encourages his readers to ask, "What is the wise thing to do?" * The key to making wise decisions is to understand the will of the Lord.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
In the space below, list at least one decision you are considering now or anticipate in the future. In response to this discussion, what will be your criteria for deciding?
THINK ABOUT IT
If you had to name one specific area of your life in which you need the wisdom of God, what would it be? Name one step you could take to begin experiencing His wisdom in that area.
CHANGING YOUR MIND
As you become familiar with God's Word, it becomes easier to recall His wisdom. There are verses at the end of each session that we hope you will take time to commit to memory.
Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15
Excerpted from THE BEST QUESTION EVER? by ANDY STANLEY Copyright © 2004 by North Point Ministries, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
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