“Your thoughts…are the source of true life.” Pr 4:23 CEV
Teach your child to ask themselves these two questions: (1) “How will I feel afterwards?” What outlasts our decisions are the subsequent feelings of self-respect versus shame, and positive self-worth versus negative self-worth. Our actions ultimately become history, but our thoughts about them continue to shape our future. “Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.” Kids with self-respect are much less likely to indulge in promiscuous sex, drugs, drinking, antisocial and illegal behaviors. Self-respect and self-worth are internal standards we are loath to violate. Giving in to selfish choices is like abandoning the moral core of our being—the sacred soul God gave us. (2) “How will the people I value feel about me after this decision?” The trust and respect of others is always needed to succeed. Reputation trumps money, even in the secular marketplace. “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold” (Pr 22:1 NLT). Poor decision making can earn us a reputation that’ll haunt our prospects indefinitely. “A person who plans (chooses) evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker” (Pr 24:8 NLT). When you get a negative reputation it’s hard to recover from it (See Pr 25:10 NLT). The short-term benefits of making poor decisions lead to long-term losses and regrets. The person God blesses must “exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation” (1Ti 3:2 NLT).
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