Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
One thing that has hurt many believers is their bad judgment. Many good people bring struggles into their own lives because of bad judgment. Bad judgment affects the areas of finances, friends, jobs, and personal decisions, just to mention a few. The psalmist understood the importance of having good judgment when he said, Teach me good judgment…. He knew that good judgment would keep him doing right without adding baggage to carry through life. Let me share several ways you can develop good judgment.
First, read God’s Word. The Scriptures are filled with guidance through life. You will glean much wisdom simply by reading God’s Word. Even when you don't realize what God’s Word is doing in your heart and mind, reading it gets God’s Word in your heart and mind and will come out at the time when you need to make a decision. You cannot have good judgment without reading and obeying God’s Word.
Second, walk with God in prayer. God has given me much guidance as I prayed. You will find by walking and praying that God will speak to you about situations you are facing. God will help your judgment if you ask Him. He says in the book of James that you should ask Him for wisdom if you lack it. Good judgment is developed in a consistent prayer life.
Third, be faithful to church. Many times someone has come to me after I preached and said, “I was going to ask you for advice, but your sermon gave me the advice I needed.” Every sermon preached has guidance to give you judgment with your decisions. If you miss church, you are missing the guidance and hindering your ability to have good judgment.
Fourth, use common sense. This is one of my many frustrations when I watch people make bad decisions. Common sense tells you what to do or what not to do if you just heed it. You already know how to make most decisions, but bad decisions are made because of a lack of common sense. Use the common sense God gave you; it will help you greatly with your decisions.
Fifth, ask counsel of wise people. God has placed many wise people in your life, and not to ask or follow their advice is foolish. Many have made foolish decisions because they informed their pastor instead of asking his advice. To avoid your pastor because you don't want him to know what you are thinking, and then to inform him of your decision is foolish. If what you are doing is so right, why do you avoid your pastor’s advice and just inform him of what you are going to do? If it is right, asking his advice will not hurt you.
Sixth, look at past decisions. Not only look at your decisions, but look at others who faced your decision and see where their decision brought them. Good judgment always looks to the past to see what the past can teach them.
Seventh, what about tomorrow? Good judgment looks at whether you can live with your decision tomorrow. Good judgment never makes decisions based on immediate gratification, but on what you must live with tomorrow.
Eighth, delay if you can’t find an answer. Waiting to find the answer is always better than forcing your way and having to live with adverse consequences. Delay is always better than regret.