Better decisions ???


Several years ago there was a report concerning a connection between ice cream and people drowning. It said the when the sales of ice cream went up more people were recorded to have drowned. Most people were left trying to work out why this was the case. The answer needed another piece of information, which if you didn’t have, it wouldn’t make any sense. The extra piece of information was the weather. The reason why the sales of ice cream and drowning rates rose together was because of the one thing, they both related to separately, which was the good weather. When the weather was good in the summer more people bought ice cream and more people went swimming. Ice cream sales went up, and so did the reports of people drowning because more people were in the water.

We don’t make better decisions by knowing less, or arrive at better conclusions by knowing less. In proverbs 18:13 we have the folly of cutting someone off before they have finished. Then in verse17 we see that the one who speaks first seems right, until someone comes with the knowledge of both sides. The reason why this must happen is because we are told that a false balance is an abomination to the LORD Prov11:1, and  “he who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD” (17:15). In other words when a person is deliberately not wanting the whole truth to be known, it is usually to favour the one who is seeking to keep it hidden. Since this is within the context Proverbs 18:14 life, is explained as being all the more difficult when this happens “a man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? When the one thing keeping you up is broken –who can stand?

Good judgements and decisions require knowledge and we don’t make better ones by knowing less. The trouble with hanging out a fleece as some do, where you can contribute to the outcome, has its problems. For it will be swayed on what you already believe. If you don’t believe it’s of the lord, you don’t make a pledge and if you do believe it’s of the lord, you do make a pledge – just what exactly here has been left to the Lord? As proverbs 18:18 says “the lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders”. But only for those who accept the outcome and don’t insist on the best of three.

By Daniel Ralph

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