This month, we read "The Best Question Ever" by Andy Stanley. A friend of mine sent me this book while I was in rehab in California, and I hate it. Really, I love the book, but the stupid thing is so dang practical and convicting!
Think, for a moment, about the worst mistake you ever made, whether it be a relationship, or a financial mistake, or a moral slip-up, or other wise. Now, click on the comment link below and tell all of cyberspace what it was.
Okay, then just think about why you made that mistake. Was it something you planned on? When you woke up one morning, did you suddenly decide, "I'm going to do X, even thought it is an absolutely terrible decision"? I doubt it.
The reason so many people, especially young people and young adults, make so many mistakes* is because we didn't plan to NOT make a terrible decision. If you're like me (and the author), before we make a decision, we consider it like this - "Is there anything wrong with 'X'?" What this leads to, then, is the following - "How close to wrong can I get and still be right?" Or, for a Christian, the question becomes "how close to sin can I get and still be right".
The problem with this, is that we're asking the wrong question. By analyzing Paul's words in Ephesians 5:15-17**, Stanley posits that we should ask this question - "What is the wise thing to do?" By asking this question, in light of our past experiences, our present situation, and our future hopes and dreams, we get to analyze seemingly innocent decisions through an entirely different lens. Stanley then takes this question and applies it to all sorts of different situations that face our lives.
It's a great book and, in my opinion, a must-read for any Youth or Young Adult ministry. My only complaint is that he takes 3 chapters to get to the point, but it is definitely worth the read.***
* By the way, I'm convinced that young people make more mistakes per capita than any other age demographic, probably because we have so little experience yet think we know everything.
** "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." NKJV
*** Yes, I am blogging with footnotes now. Enjoy. ;-)