Bad Decisions

As a teenager, I was the king of bad decisions. One landed me at a local police station. Age fourteen began a string of poor decisions. I took up habits better left alone and hung around with people who were unruly influences. I had a wonderful home life; I just needed to rebel. By sixteen, I was ready to leave. I threw some things together, robbed the pantry and took off for the mountains. Unfortunately, it was winter and the road I chose to hide on was covered with snow and ice. A few feet and I was stuck. My plan quickly unraveled. I walked to a nearby hotel, called a friend for help but got the police and parents instead. It was a long ride home.

To rebellious minds, Christianity is valueless, and I classified mine as such. Esau did too. “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” (Genesis 25:32) As the oldest son, Esau would inherit most of the family estate which included spiritual heritage. He wasn’t interested. Selfishness overcame common sense, and he traded everything for a bowl of stew.

Many decisions cannot be reversed. I can’t not run away. But I can choose not to allow past regrettable decisions to continue defining me. I ran away but I’m not a runaway. I’ve lied, but I’m not a liar.

When believers make flawed or sinful decisions, it’s temporary insanity. We should quickly confess, receive God’s forgiveness and move on. Christ cleans us up. We just get a little dirty sometimes walking through the world. Let your normal heart’s desire to obey-not temporary bad decisions to disobey, define you.

Prayer: Merciful Savior, guide us to good decisions so we won’t trade our inheritance for a bowl of stew.

Author Bio: Martin W. Wiles is a “preacher’s kid” and “wounded warrior” who understands the struggles believers face in their Christian journey. Wiles currently serves as pastor of First Baptist Church, Harleyville, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders of Morning Lite Ministry ( and Love Lines From God. Dr. Wiles has authored Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity and Grace Greater Than Sin. He has been published in Proclaim, The Secret Place and Catapult Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, Christian Writers, PCCWebDaily, Faith Writers, the Eagle Record, Common Ground Herald, Mustard Seed Ministries and is lead writer for WOW blog. He also serves on the publication board for Christian Devotions.