“How will I feel after I do this?” is the most important question you’ll ever ask. And most of us aren’t asking it nearly enough.
In the last 3 to 4 years, Rochelle and I have discovered a disturbing number of friends, acquaintances, leaders, and mentors who have made awful decisions. Many have had affairs and/or left their spouse. Even at our distance from the center of these relationships, we were disappointed and hurt.
We were mostly scared! Scared because many of these people we held in the highest regard. If it could happen to them it could happen to us. In each instance, without hesitation, we confessed that our friends were folks who pursued God wholeheartedly but has made terrible and devastating mistakes.
What Were They Thinking?
Rochelle I couldn’t help but ask, “What were they thinking?” As far as we could figure, they weren’t. At the very least they weren’t thinking about the relational and emotional debris of their actions. Asking, “How will I feel after I do this?” changes our calculations about our behaviors and words.
Everyone is susceptible to momentary lapses and basic human frailty can position any of us for errors whenever our guard is down. That’s why we need constructs to help guide is when we aren’t thinking straight.
Our failures aren’t about thinking, though. They’re about asking.
We need better questions than, “Do I like this?” or “Am I happy?” guiding our lives. These kinds if questions set us up for momentary desires that will lead us to destruction. This way of thinking makes gods of our stomachs, as the Apostle Paul says (Phil. 3:19).
“How will I feel after I do this?” is a question good for any instance:
- When you don’t want to workout …how will I feel after I do this?
- When you want to post that nasty comment on Facebook or a blog …how will I feel after I do this?
- When your children have annoyed you to the point of insanity and you want to light into them …how will I feel after I do this?
- When you come up with that snarky comeback to your spouse accusation…how will I feel after I do this?
- When you want to buy that new and shinny item even though the budget is tight…how will I feel after I do this?