The Anatomy of a bad decision 

Transparent people are confident in grace. They are confident in what Jesus has done for them that they could not do for themselves. So to be totally honest I have made a lot of bad decisions. Some of those decisions have caused my loved ones and myself a lot of pain. Some decisions have cost me a lot of money; some have resulted in me wasting my time. I have also made some good decisions and then rewarded myself in a counterproductive way. For example, I lost two or three pounds in a week and then the next day rewarded myself with an ice cream sundae and gained a pound back with one snack. Many of us are counterproductive as it relates to how we reward ourselves for making a good decision. 

Let me be clear, a good decision doesn’t always get you the results you may have desired. Here is a brief example: Joseph the dreamer chose not to sleep with his boss’s wife; he wasn’t promoted, he was imprisoned. He was falsely accused and unjustly sentenced as a direct result of making the right choice. The good news is that decision positioned him for the process that God would use to promote him from the prison to the palace. Sometimes, a good decision takes longer to materialize but in the long run it is always worth it. A good decision has no regret attached to it; a bad decision almost always involves regret. Regret is something that we will either live with or learn from. The choice is ours. 

Bad decisions happen when we isolate ourselves from the counsel (or the advice) of the wise. If you don’t take counsel you will need counseling. Bad decisions happen when we have wrong desires and wrong priorities. Bad decisions happen when we are motivated by fear. Here are a few ways this plays out. For example, we are going through something that is painful and a shortcut is offered. We choose what seems to be the easier and faster way because of the pain. The end result is more pain and a longer unnecessary detour because we made a decision from our place of pain and impatience. It is important to know and remember that there are no shortcuts in the kingdom of God. Bad decisions are often made from a place of insecurity. We do things to try to prove ourselves instead of being ourselves. Or we don’t say or do things for fear of what people will think about us. We do need to be conscious of others, but we do not need to be controlled by the opinions of others. Other bad decisions are motivated by lust. Although lust is sexual, it is not only sexual. Lust says, “I can not wait, I will not wait, I have to do it now, I have to say it now, I have to have it now.” It is important to remember that patient and prudent people don’t make rushed and impetuous decisions. If you are someone who makes decisions based on emotions instead of wisdom and understanding read this blog. It will encourage you toward better decisions where you count the cost before you make the choice.

How the Media Controls People

What if the media was strategically putting their message directly into your mind? What if they had a proven scientific strategy to bypass your logic and implant their message deep into the recesses of your mind? They do. But who are they? I am glad you asked. They are communists, terrorists, liberals and even conservatives. I am not writing this to scare you. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am not writing this so that you stop watching the news. However, I am writing this so you watch the news with a filter on so that their message doesn’t end up deep in your memory bank without you choosing to put it there. What is bizarre about this whole thing is that people who believe completely different things all use the same strategy. The strategy is very simple and I will illustrate it and then show you another unrelated example that has affected all of us. Step one: they show you a disturbing image that breeds fear. This shuts down your frontal lobe, which is your logic center. Step two: they take their message and bypass your logic and put it directly into your memory bank. They do this without you accepting or believing it. Practically and scientifically speaking here is how they do it. They show you frightening images with disturbing sounds they shut down the frontal lobe in your brain. Their goal is control. They accomplish it through fear. Remember this, whatever you are afraid of is what rules you. The media uses fear to bypass our logic and control us. If we reject fear they cannot control us. My friend Khalid from Pakistan said, “danger is real, but fear is a choice.” So reject fear and then process the information logically instead of just emotionally. Emotions are great, they make a great servant but a terrible master.

Here is another illustration of how fear shuts down the logical side of your brain in real life. You are watching a scary movie, you hear a loud sound coming from a darkroom in the movie scene and you jump. What just happened here? Fear shut down the frontal lobe or the logic side of your brain. In that moment you forgot that the movie was filmed long ago in a faraway land called Hollywood and that everything is happening on the TV screen. Because you forgot that, you reacted in fear to something that you have absolutely no reason to be afraid of.

If you would like to read an article that explains how fear affects the brain click here.