A few years ago The Lord gave me a reliable filter that has made a great difference in my life. I'm sharing it with you now - and if utilized faithfully, it will rarely steer you wrong.
Before making ANY decision (great or small - important or insignificant) ask yourself the following TWO questions with perfect honesty:
1. For what purpose? 2. To what end?
Imagine yourself on the cusp of deciding to do something about which you may feel an inner tug to pause and reflect before acting (this is mostly likely The Holy Spirit trying to guide you in the right direction). If you take a moment and think "down the road" a bit, tracing the situation to its possible conclusions, these are the questions that inevitably surface.
What is the purpose for doing this? What will the end result of that action be? Sometimes the answer springing back is innocuous; "the purpose is for fun and the end is a nice relaxing day that will be a harm to no one." If so, (and if this clears up the "catch" in your spirit) indulge Dear Ones, knowing that you've thought it through. That's likely a good decision.
A lot of times, however, these questions surface (the filter is activated) because we already know in our hearts that our purpose is something that will only breed regret and sorrow - or pain. The end to such poor decisions is always suffering and the inevitable longing to reverse an action that can no longer be undone.
With one exception (which I will cover below), leaping without looking is stupidity at its absolute rankest - and it almost always results in disaster.
These questions do not impugn (or negate) the need for relaxation. There's nothing wrong with having fun - in fact, there's everything right about doing something "mindless" in order to unwind from the rigors of life. If such a thing is needed, this filter will guide you there as well.
This filter (if employed faithfully) is a mechanism to remind you to consider your actions BEFORE they are committed. The only exception to these rules (the filter bypass, if you will) is when Jesus tells you to do something (and you are certain that it is HIM giving you the order). His words fly through the filter unaltered. Obey Him without question.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett