Emotions cloud the ability for good judgment. Maturity, which doesn’t always mean age, limits it. Physical needs such as hunger and sleep also impact the ability to make healthy choices. Personal preferences bring another factor into the mix of what affects the quality of our decisions.
With all of these factors at play, how can we consistently operate with good judgment? How can we truly make healthy and positive choices more often than not throughout every area of life?
- Learn from mistakes. Not only from your own mistakes, but the mistakes of others as well. A mistake only equals wasted resources when we fail to apply its lessons.
- Have patience. This means patience not only with other people but with yourself as well. Hurrying often leads to poor decisions or even choices that lead us to say “good enough” rather than striving for our best.
- Don’t decide. Sometimes we make decisions just to not have the decision lingering over us. Often, waiting would have led to a natural resolution or solution.
- Value small decisions. Small changes made over time add up to make a big difference. Never underestimate the impact your small choices can have on your life.
- Seek wisdom. Trusting my thoughts when emotions are running at full tilt has often proved a mistake. Relying on others, whether trusted friends or even experts through books, helps keep me on track. For a start, try Proverbs 4.
Consistently having good judgment involves learning to not allow emotions to direct and control decisions. Quite often, emotions indicate one path while the right choice leads down a path in the opposite direction. Being able to make the right choice regardless of feelings shows a developing ability to have good judgment. This does not mean feelings are useless. Feelings can actually direct us down the right path if we’ve spent time knowing the steps the Lord would have us take. In other words, feelings can be great gauges, but they shouldn’t drive the car.
DISCUSSION: What examples can you give of any of the above suggestions in action? Or, maybe you have an example where one would have been prudent in hindsight.