May 092013 6 Responses

Please Stop me from Doing Stupid Things

Who can tell you “no?”

Who has the courage to tell you “no.”

And, beyond the courage, who has the credibility that if they told you “no,” you would listen to them and heed their action?

One common trait I see with people who make foolish decisions is absence of accountability.

No one in their life has been given the permission, much less the expectation, to say “no” when everyone else is saying “yes.”

In yesterday’s testimony about the Benghazi embassy disaster, a common theme was heard—the State Department did not like dissent. Anyone who questioned what was happening was silenced, ignored, and even demoted.

It’s a common story in government, in business, and in life.

Pride isolates us to such an extent that we no longer have anyone in our lives who has our permission and expectation to stop us if we start to do foolish things. This isolation and silence multiplies our stupidity.

The word “stupid” is a great Biblical word. It’s used 12 times in the Old Testament. Proverbs 12.1 shows its proper use: “He who hates reproof is stupid.”

From a Biblical standpoint, it’s not so much that our actions are stupid, as much as our refusal to heed the warnings of others.

Throughout the book of Proverbs, stern warnings are given of the importance of having people in our lives who assist us in making wise decisions.

Isn’t this the role of a parent? Isn’t our job to assist our children in making wise decisions when they are not able to make them on their own?

While we outgrow our need to have others make decisions for us, we do not outgrow our need to have others assist us in our decision making.

Only the fool believes he needs no one to help him; only the fool chooses such isolation that no one will speak when he is heading down the wrong path.

Three things we should know about ourselves:

1. We will not get everything right.

2. We need others to assist us in knowing when we are wrong.

3. We need others who love us more than they love our approval so they are willing to confront us when we are wrong.

Show me someone who understands and applies these three things to every aspect of life and I will show you someone far less likely to do stupid things.

Questions:

Who knows your personal finances well enough that if you started to make a purchase you could not afford, they would tell you “no?”

Who has enough access into your life that if you began an inappropriate relationship with someone, they would know it and call you on it?

To whom have you given permission to ask you on a regular basis, “How is your soul?” “your marriage?” “Your heart?”

With whom do you review how you are handling parenting, marriage, and life situations?

When was the last time a subordinate told you “no?” Are you confident you reacted in a way that will make them more likely to do so again rather than less likely?

If your spouse were to warn you about something or someone, would you thank them or ignore them?

 

Left to ourselves, we have the capacity of doing very stupid things. In the wisdom of community, we can prevent a good deal of sorrow.

Proverbs 9.8, “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.”

 

 

 

6 Responses to Please Stop me from Doing Stupid Things
  1. Jesse Reply

    Excellent I thank God for individuals God gave me enough sense to open-up with so they could keep/help in as I age make better decisions. Parents, I would encourage to learn or teach themselves the “decision making tree” and use it to help children as young as your son think through decision making.

  2. Melissa Reply

    We need relationships that we trust will tell us “NO” and keep us from doing stupid things. We also need to have the courage to be the “NO” person for someone else in our lives–sometimes that is hard.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      so very true. That is often more difficult than being told “no.” Great point Melissa.

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