A little waste recycling needed
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
How true is that statement? We all amass 'experience' as we move through life, some of it more 'worthy' of proclaiming than others. Certainly some of our judgment has been 'flawed' on occasion, yet there are even good things that come out of our bad judgment. The fourth police car has just passed my house bound for a residence at the end of the street, along with a fire truck and ambulance. Curiosity would make we want to find out what is going on - good judgment would tell me to trust the local authorities to do their job and pray for whatever is happening at the moment. Good judgment isn't learned by giving into every moment of 'curiosity' we have toward a matter, is it? In fact, there are times when we have to deny our curiosity because it is bound to lead us down a path we shouldn't be traveling!
A leader of good judgment gives stability; an exploiting leader leaves a trail of waste. (Proverbs 29:4)
Some will immediately deny they are 'leaders' in any sense of the word, but even if you are not presently thinking of yourself as a leader, let me assure you that someone is following your example. Obviously that makes each of us 'leaders' in some sense of the word. How important it is for us to lead well - with good judgment so there will be a stable example for them to follow! Poor judgment indeed leaves little more than a trail of waste, but even 'waste' has some value to the ones who have learned to 'recycle' it! God would hope we'd be consistent in our use of good judgment, minimizing the need for 'waste recycling', but he is also a realist and knows our propensity toward not always using good judgment!
For some, bad judgment seems to be the 'norm' - it has become so commonplace in their lives that when 'good judgment' happens, it is an oddity! I am so grateful that the periods of my life marked by one bad judgment right after another were actually able to be redeemed. How about you? Has God done the work of 'recycling' the waste of all those bad decisions in your life? Think about it - what has he done to turn what others would label as 'waste' in your life into something that would now be labeled as 'beautiful' and 'holy'? We want to focus on the fact that 'waste' came out of those decisions, but God wants us to see that the pile of waste is nothing more than 'fertilizer' for the growth he is now bringing forth.
Yes, we all want stability in our lives. Certainly we want to lead well and never lead another astray, but we know the reality of our moments of indecision and weakness - we will exercise bad judgment at times. Rather than beating ourselves up over those moments, why not let God use them as a means to help us develop better judgment for the next time we face similar moments of indecision or weakness? He might be using that 'waste pile' in your rear-view mirror as a reminder of all that has changed in your life. He could also be reminding each of us of just how powerful it is to have 'pre-decided' to make certain good judgments when faced with decisions and weaknesses. Just sayin!