I was thinking about this recently and I was reminded of a rhyme my girls and I used to say before crossing a street or parking lot:
Stop, look, and listen before you cross the street.
Use your eyes and use your ears before you use your feet.
This simple rhyme was a reminder for us to be careful before walking into a street. Skipping any of these steps could result in danger. It struck me that these same cautionary steps are used when making any decision, not just crossing the street.
STEP 1: STOP
This means to think before you act. Don’t just make decisions on a whim or without thinking them through.
STEP 2: LOOK
Read the Bible to see what God has to say about it. There may be explicit commands about the decision you’re facing or there may be Biblical principles that can be applied to help you make the best decision.
STEP 3: LISTEN
Pray for wisdom and guidance. This is the step I most often overlook when making decisions, but it’s probably the most important one.
USE YOUR EYES AND USE YOUR EARS BEFORE YOU USE YOUR FEET
Before you take any action, use the tools God has given us (the Bible and prayer) to make the best decisions. Above all, every choice we make should be an effort to praise the Lord and love others.
So with all of that in mind, I have re-worded our simple little rhyme to apply to more situations:
Think, read, and pray before a choice you make.
Use your mind, engage your heart, before a step you take.