We all know the iconic Tootsie Pop commercial where the little cartoon boy asks the wise, old owl how many licks does it take to get to the center of a lollipop. Owl’s have become a symbol for being wise and smart. (Fun fact: they actually aren’t very smart at all. Crows have been found to be the smartest bird.) They are put up in classrooms, loved by teachers, and used in children’s books and movies to represent someone who is full of wisdom.
So, what would your life be a symbol of? Would it be the wise, old owl who has filled himself with knowledge, gives out fair advice, and makes the smart choice? Or would you be the character in the movie that is put there to simply show what happens when you choose the wrong choice or fill your life with nonsense?
So many times we make decisions and decide to do things in the moment without thinking of the outcome or of our future. We are selfish to our own desires and wants. We don’t always see the result of our decisions either. When we put ourselves first, we too often times end up hurting friends, family, and even ourselves.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t have fun, or have a hobby, or enjoy yourself. I’m saying the complete opposite, in fact. DO hang out with your friends, pick up knitting, lounge about the house watching Netflix for 6 hours. But make the RIGHT decision in your situation. Too often we form to the ways of our friends or society, compromising our morals to please the likes of others. Why choose to do something that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself? Why choose to do something that has the possibility of completely ruining your future? Why choose to do something that drives a wedge between you and those who love you?
Andy Stanley (amazing pastor, check him out) preached a sermon on making the wise choice. His entire message can be summed up by saying, “Concerning your past, present, and future, what is the WISE choice for you?” Not making the wise choice for others, but for YOURSELF. Don’t be swept away because you think you need to prove yourself to others, or “it’s just what teenagers do,” or “it’s not that bad.” Don’t make excuses for something you know is wrong when you can simply do the WISE thing. I’ve added this simple phrase in my life, and it has made a world of difference in every situation and decision I come to.
You guys ever have that gut feeling? Yeah, me too. Sometimes it’s for something good; other times, not so good. Either way, I think that whole “feeling” is little bit of God talking to you. Whether it’s good or bad, we get that feeling in our stomach or that little voice, our “conscience,” talking to us, and we know the decision to choose. Many times, we choose to push it out and ignore it, but it always creeps back in.
I can give you a fool proof way to avoid failure in decision making (well, Andy can give you a fool proof way. I’m just regurgitating his words.) Before any decision you make, ask the question, “Is this the WISE choice?” Don’t sit and think, and question, and come up with some big situation or reasoning in your head. You will get your immediate answer as soon as you ask yourself that question. You will be amazed at the outcome, the choices you make, and the better you feel about what you’re doing.
In Romans 12:2 (NLT), God gives us some awesome instruction: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” If you’re a Christian and have come before God, laying your heart down for Him to take, you have committed your life to living for Him. Sometimes we forget that part as we go through our daily lives, not thinking about what exactly we have promised to do. We are called to STAND OUT, not join the crowd. God can give you an entire new way of attitude, and with that pave out His amazing and beautiful plan for your wonderful life. Even if you haven’t made the choice to ask Christ into your life, you can still ask that simple question daily. Making the WISE choice concerning the past, present, and future is something anyone can consider in their lives.
So what is it? Are you the character who meets their unfortunate fate in the end of the movie? Or are you the wise, old owl? (Hint: sometimes characters change their act throughout the movie. You can, too.)
Watch the Tootsie Pop Commercial here!
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find Andy Stanley’s video version of his message online without buying it, so here is a link to the DVD and book that goes along with the series! It’s called “The Best Question Ever.” (spoiler alert: I may have already told you what the question is. Oops!)