I’ve made dumb decisions. I may or may not have realized how foolish the decisions were at the time. You all know how we are as young people. We can’t see an inch beyond our face and don’t or choose not to realize how consequential our choices really are. One time I chose to join my friends in trying some chewing tobacco. It was only a pinch between my cheek and gum. The short-term and long-term consequences were dreadful. The stuff made me nauseous and I was suspended for a basketball game for breaking team rules. Some decisions are just dumb. Failing to see the implications of my choices is often the result of not thinking through decisions carefully and thoroughly. Like my dad used to say, “Think, before you decide.”
God would add, “Pray before you decide.” Prayer in its purest form is an act of trust. It’s depending on God’s direction which is inherently wise. Abraham made some dumb decisions in his life and they’re revealed in the Bible for what they are, foolish choices. These foolish decisions were not prayerful choices. They may be been well thought out schemes, but they were dumb decisions. In two instances he chose to lie about the true nature of his relationship to Sarah. He called her his sister which was half true, but not the whole truth. Abraham acted to preserve his life, a natural instinct. As he moved into hostile territories under the rule of ruthless leaders he thought he might be killed if he claimed Sarah as a spouse. Ruthless leaders take what they want and Sarah was a desirable woman. We all understand acting in fear. We all are inclined to act in self-preserving ways. But when our fear is so strong we factor God out of our relational equation and choose not to consult Him, that’s dumb. Then we make decisions as if He doesn’t exist, and if He does exist He doesn’t care. But God does exist and He most certainly cares. And as He proved in Genesis 20, He can protect even liars from the danger that drives us to rely on half-truths. His mercy is inexhaustible. Much of the pain and inconvenience we bring on ourselves can be avoided. Pray before you decide. Your choice of socks or breakfast cereal, not so much a conversation starter with the Creator of the universe. But talk to God about the big stuff.