Being the Difference Part 1
6 Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words. 7 I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, “You are exacting usury, each from his brother!” Therefore, I held a great assembly against them. 8 I said to them, “We according to our ability have redeemed our Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations; now would you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us?” Then they were silent and could not find a word to say. 9 Again I said, “The thing which you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? 10 And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off this usury. 11 Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them.” 12 Then they said, “We will give it back and will require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say.” So I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to this [b]promise. 13 I also shook out the front of my garment and said, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” And they praised the Lord. Then the people did according to this promise.
Main Point: “God always gives you a second chance.”
How to Recover from Bad Choices
1. Take responsibility for your bad choice.
Proverbs 28:13 LB A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.
2. Repent and turn away from the bad choice you made.
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
3. Embrace God’s grace.
Don’t let bad choices define you.
Don’t let bad choices disqualify you.
How to Safeguard Against Making Bad Choices
1. Use a proven process to guide you.
✓ Are my choices God-honoring?
✓ How will this affect my spiritual health?
✓ How will this decision affect the people closest to me?
3. Seek wise counsel.
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffer harm.