THREE PEOPLE—a minister and two kids—once went on a short sight-seeing flight in a small, four-passenger plane. One of the kids had just been honored in a national newsmagazine as “the smartest kid in the world.”
Suddenly, the pilot shouted to his passengers over the roar of the engine. “We’ve got a big problem!” he said. “Our gas tank has a leak in it, and we’re going to run out of gas in just a couple minutes. We’re going to have to jump!”
“That’s not so bad,” the minister said, forcing a nervous smile. “I’ve always wanted to learn to skydive!”
The pilot shook his head. “We only have three parachutes. One of us isn’t going to make it! I’ve got a family. I can’t leave them alone without a father.”
“Well, I’m the smartest kid in the world,” said the one kid. “I may be the only person who can discover a cure for cancer or AIDS or something like that! You two will have to fight this out between you.” And with that, the kid grabbed one of the parachutes and jumped.
The minister turned to the other kid and the pilot. “You take the other two parachutes,” he told them. “I’m not afraid to die.”
“Thanks,” the other kid said. “But we’ve got nothing to worry about. The ‘smartest kid in the world’ just jumped out of the plane with my backpack!”
The “smartest kid in the world” wasn’t so smart, was he? He made a foolish decision—not just because he took a backpack instead of a parachute, but also because he made a selfish decision. And he paid for his choice!
You may not be as foolish or as selfish as that kid, but you may discover (if you haven’t already) that wrong choices often have a high price. Lying may get you into more trouble. Cheating in school may get you suspended or expelled. Trying to hurt other people may hurt you more than them.
The Bible says, “If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer” (Proverbs 9:12). In other words, godly wisdom and right choices pay off—maybe not right away or maybe not for a long time. But if you make a habit of making right choices, you will benefit in many lasting ways. If you don’t… well, just don’t go jumping out of any airplanes.
REFLECT: Who do you think has more fun: those who are always getting into trouble or those who follow the rules? Have you ever been sorry you made a wrong choice? Have you ever enjoyed any rewards for making right choices? Which are you: a person who is becoming wise or a person who scorns wisdom?
PRAY: “Lord, I want to be wise in making right choices. Please teach me to be wise and help me to make wise choices today.”