2 Chronicles 19:4
“And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.”
Jehoshaphat was a good man who made some bad decisions. The sad part about his decisions is that they didn’t just influence him, but they influenced everyone around him. What he thought were simple decisions were decisions that influenced others to do wrong. A disturbing statement is made in the verse above when it says, “…and he went out again through the people…and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.” The reason he had to bring them back to the LORD was because Jehoshaphat’s decisions led them away from the LORD. Jehoshaphat never realized the impact his decisions were having on others, but they were having an impact on others for bad.
Every decision you make impacts others and either leads them away from the LORD or towards Him. There are no inconsequential decisions. You had better be sure you make the right decision every time. Decisions build a life, and the story of your life is being written by those decisions you make. If you love your family and those you lead, you must be careful that you guard the decisions you make, for every decision you make leads people in a certain direction and writes a story about you. Let me point out several bad decisions that Jehoshaphat made that you must avoid if you don’t want the story of your life to end wrong.
First, be careful about your attractions and likings. Jehoshaphat had an affinity for Ahab to his detriment. You will never have the wrong attractions and likings in life if you don’t allow yourself to be around the wrong things. You can’t like things if you don’t see them or know about them. Every bad decision has always started with a liking for something.
Second, guard your directions. Jehoshaphat’s affinity with Ahab caused him to go down to Ahab. Your direction is always influenced by your likings. You can’t have a liking for the wrong person without eventually going down to join them. A wrong direction in life always writes a tragic ending to your life story.
Third, be careful about your pursuits in life. Jehoshaphat joined Ahab to fight battles that he had no business fighting. You are going to find yourself entangled in needless battles when you start having the wrong pursuits. My friend, your likings always influence your direction, and your direction always dictates your pursuits. If you keep your affections and likings right, you will never find yourself having the wrong pursuits.
Fourth, your identification is determined by your pursuit. Ahab told Jehoshaphat, “I am as thou art…” Jehoshaphat was originally nothing like Ahab, but because he joined affinity with him, he became like him. You can’t join the wrong crowd and not expect people to identify you with the wrong crowd. If you don’t want to be accused of being the wrong crowd, never join affinity with them. If you never join affinity with the wrong crowd, you will never look like the wrong crowd to those watching from afar.
My friend, you are writing the story of your life with every decision you make. If your life were to end right now, what would your story say about you? If you don’t like what your story says, change your affinities and associations and you will change the ending of your story.