Apr 222013 10 Responses

The One Piece of Advice I would give a 7th Grader

It’s a whole lot easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble.

Several years ago I was playing in a golf tournament. When my opponent found out I was a preacher he started asking me to pray for his shots. It happened first when I had hit a shot close to the pin and he had a long putt across the green. He yelled, “hey preacher, can you pray for my putt?” I said, “I could, but it may not help.” He lagged the ball close to the hole and made par.

A few holes later he was once again a long way from the pin and I was close to the hole. He asked if I could pray for him and he lagged the ball near the cup.

On the 17th hole the same scenario repeated itself. I was near the cup and he had a long putt across the length of the green. Right as he was about to putt, he stopped, looked up at me and said, “Why am I the one doing all the praying, but you are always close to the hole?”

I said, “That’s simple, you pray on the green, but I pray on the tee box.”

It’s a whole lot easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble.

As leaders, parents, and people, we spend far too much time trying to conceive of ways to get out of trouble and far too little time trying to consider ways to stay out of trouble.

I watch as couples take years to rebuild marriages which could have stayed strong with small investments of time over the decades.

How much money and resources are spent trying to return a person to health after a lifetime of poor decisions? Imagine if those resources were spent on the front end in planning a wise life.

We can’t prevent every bad outcome in life, but we can prevent many of them. By making wise choices at the beginning, we can save ourselves countless sorrows.

Here are a few steps which will often keep you out of trouble:

Think. Before an important decision is made, stop to consider the possibilities. It’s tragic how often people make important decisions without honestly thinking about the consequences. Imagine the number of foolish decisions which could be prevented with just a few seconds of conscious thought.

Pray. Actually pray. Take an allotted period of time for real prayer instead of just saying you have prayed about it. Listen to God by reading Scriptures which might be relevant to your issue.

Get advice. Most of us are way too confident in our knowledge base on any given topic. Generally speaking, we are not experts. Seek advice from people who have experienced the issue before. Learn from their mistakes and successes.

Choose wisely. Ask yourself: “Is this a wise choice?” It’s amazing how many options that question can eliminate.

Choosing wisely on the front end can save a tremendous amount of effort and energy on the back end. If you can only pray at one spot on a golf hole, always pray on the tee box instead of waiting for the green because it’s a whole lot easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble.

What are some other ways we can stay out of trouble before we have to get out of trouble?


10 Responses to The One Piece of Advice I would give a 7th Grader
  1. [...] into tempting situations than to actually withstand tempting situations. As I’ve said before, it&#... https://www.kevinathompson.com/you-will-have-an-affair-if
  2. […] it’s a whole lot easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble, the fact is we all ... https://www.kevinathompson.com/what-to-do-right-when-youve-already-done-wrong
  3. […] The One Piece of Advice I Would Give a 7th Grader […]... https://www.kevinathompson.com/dont-blame-god
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  5. […] Her early mistakes compounded into more trouble. Of course, when she begins to make wise choices, t... https://www.kevinathompson.com/mistake
  6. […] Prom night, graduation night, and every other night is fraught with peril. Parents are afraid becaus... https://www.kevinathompson.com/graduation
  7. […] Most politicians try to lead loudly. (See: The One Piece of Advice I Would Give a 7th Grader) [̷... https://www.kevinathompson.com/i-love-people-who-have-this
  8. […] 2. It will cause more harm than the original issue. More importantly than what it does to others, we... https://www.kevinathompson.com/dont-do-wrong-when-youve-been-wronged
  9. […] Even as Tiger wins again, his victory can feed into our deception that we can do whatever we want an... https://www.kevinathompson.com/dont-be-tricked-by-tiger
  10. […] As you do both of these, allow your gratitude to outweigh your grief. (See: The One Piece of Advice ... https://www.kevinathompson.com/letter-seniors-school-canceled

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