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My favorite age was 8. I was old enough to do stuff by myself, but not yet having to deal with puberty. The main chores around the house were done by my big brother, so life was good. At that age you can quickly move from being helpful, cheerful, and pleasant, to rude, bossy, and selfish. Hiding under what elderly ladies saw as cute innocence, was a calculating 8 year old mind. Reasoning skills were functioning, but with embarrassing misfires.

While most 8 year olds can grasp fundamental principles of critical thinking, there are noticeable lapses. Keyword: silly. My calling in life was to make people laugh. I would say and do things that absolutely had no rhyme or reason. If it got a laugh, it mattered not if it made any sense. My repertoire of skills included shocking words, belching, falling on the floor, jokes that were incomprehensible, and making crude noises by slapping my hand into my armpit. Try it!

Every once in a while, I would do or say something so bizarre, that my mother would say, “David, what were you thinking?” Thinking? I was not thinking. I did a lot of things without thinking about the ramifications. My thinking was short term and rooted in silliness, and nothing more. It amazed me that my folks could get so upset over my goofy actions. I was not a monster; I just wanted to hear people laugh. So lighten up!

On one hand, thinking too much ruins creativity. That’s why very few good ideas come out of a committee. On the other hand, doing things without thinking them through, can lead you down a dark road. Do you remember the Edsel or New Coke or Sony Betamax or the DeLorean? Seeing these products fail begs the question, “What were they thinking?”

In the Bible, do you think Esau really thought through trading his birthright for a mess of pottage? Or how about when Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire to God? Or when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. If you ran into any of them at the Dollar Store tomorrow, wouldn’t it be obvious to ask, “DUH - what were you thinking?”

Question: Are you smarter than an 8 year old?

You are encouraged to think (and pray) through your actions before steaming ahead. Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Live and speak in such a way that your thinking is always in line with God and His Word. Doing this can save you a lot of pain............I speak from experience :(

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