Author: Andy Stanley
Genre: Christian, Non-Fiction
||How I came across the book
A friend of mine shared a few e-books on a social media platform I belong to and this book was part of it.
While in medical school, one of my friends, Tyn, introduced me to Pastor Andy Stanley’s sermons. He’s one of the most down-to-earth preachers I’ve listened to, so I knew the message in his book would be no different.
If you’re like most people, some of the decisions you wish you could unmake led to chapters of your life you wish you could go back and relive.
Some of our greatest regrets started with choices that we convinced ourselves were good ones.
While nobody plans to mess up their lives, problem is that few of us plan not to.
You don’t sit around looking for reasons to do the right thing; it’s the bad decisions that require creative reasoning.
Asking the right question, exposes the irrationality of our excuses, reveals our true intent, penetrates the walls of rationalization behind which we are prone to hide and dismantles the arguments we use to keep the truth at arm’s length.
The question that sets us up for success where it counts, is: What’s the wise thing to do?
What’s morally and culturally permissible is not always what’s best for us.
To foolproof your life, you must ask it of every invitation, every opportunity, every relationship. “What is the wise thing for me to do?”
These are evil days. If you don’t pay attention, you will end up paying a price for your carelessness.
Your personal history is unique to you. And the sum of your past experiences predisposes you toward specific weaknesses and strengths in your relationships, finances, and career.
So every decision, invitation, and opportunity that comes your way needs to be filtered through this question: In light of my past experience, what’s the wise thing to do?
Chances are, there are places you have no business visiting because of your history—places that would have no impact on the average person, but the average person doesn’t share your experience with those environments.
What’s wise in this season of life may be unwise in the next. And vice versa.
We only get one shot at every season of life. Whether or not we learned anything becomes evident in the seasons that follow.
If we don’t intentionally opt for wisdom, then we accidentally opt for foolishness.
The tragedy of being a fool is that eventually you’ll inflict harm upon someone else. There’s always collateral damage.
If there is one commodity we must learn to handle wisely, it is our time. Think about it. You can make more money, make new friends, take more trips, maybe even have another child. But your allotment of time is inflexible. You only get so much of it.
Time not spent wisely simply goes away. And there is no way to recover a minute of it. There is no leftover. It can’t be saved up for later.
Neglect has a cumulative effect physically, relationally, spiritually, professionally, financially, and emotionally.
As a follower of Christ, your values are constantly being challenged—challenged by another value system.
If you aren’t on your guard, the culture will draw you into a lifestyle where your time is frivolously consumed rather than strategically invested.
So in the light of your past, your present, and your future hopes and dreams, what needs to change about the way you are spending your time? What do you need to stop doing?
Our greatest moral regrets are always preceded by a series of unwise choices. Not wrong choices, not impermissible, not illegal, but unwise.
Relationships don’t stand still. They are always going somewhere, uphill or downhill.
Everybody who has ever allowed things to go that far never intended them to go that far. That’s exactly why things went that far.
It takes more than good intentions to cross the finish line in any area of life.
None of us plan—or intend—to get into trouble. To leave yourself no margin for error morally is about the most insensitive thing you can do to those you love.
There should be boundaries that are so far from the line of regret that, were we to cross one, we would suffer little or no consequences.
Long after men and women come to grips with God’s forgiveness, those who have sinned sexually still wrestle to forgive themselves.
If you are single, you need to predecide how physically involved you should become in a dating context. You need to predecide your entertainment options.
If you don’t have your own personal standards, others will force theirs on you.
In the beginning, God didn’t just create the heavens and the earth. In the beginning, God created sex. It was his idea! He gave sex to us as a gift—a gift that comes with instructions.
When sex is enjoyed the way God originally intended, the result is intimacy.
Emotions can make it hard to see straight, think straight, decide straight.
This is usually the case when love, lust, money, or a crisis is involved—these are not emotionally neutral environments.
Wise people know when they don’t know, and they’re not afraid to go to those who do know.
We can convince ourselves that our private lives are nobody else’s business. Private decisions have public consequences.
You will never be all you’re capable of being unless you tap the wisdom of the wise people around you.
Experience is a good teacher, especially if it is other people’s experience. There’s no point in learning something the hard way if someone else has already paid that price.
One of the primary reasons we don’t seek counsel from the wise people around us is that we already know what we are going to hear and we don’t want to hear it.
When we resist presenting our options to the wise people around us for fear of hearing what we don’t want to hear, we are fools. And in the end, we pay. Fools always pay.
Asking for help is not a reflection of your lack of wisdom, it is actually an evidence of wisdom.
It is what you know and what you do with what you know that make the difference.
Wisdom begins with a proper understanding of who God is and who we are not.
Every time you make a wise decision, you are applying or surrendering to one of God’s principles.
God desires that your life be a masterpiece that reflects his greatness and your uniqueness. But to create a masterpiece with our lives, we must submit ourselves to the hand of the Master.
In light of your past experience, your current circumstance, and your future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for you to do?
No one rises above the need for wise counsel. No one. In fact, the more successful we become, the more we need it because there is usually more at stake in the decisions we make.
This is a practical, easy-to-understand and authentic read. I like how the author doesn’t mince words. This is definitely a “say it as it really is” book.
Every young believer who wants to as much as possible, live a regret-free life, will benefit from this book.