We generally try to make the best choices possible going forward. But we don’t yet have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, which opens the door to many unintended consequences. This reality is not to paralyze us from making decisions, but to take much wisdom and humility with us as we do.
Of course, this is easy to see with sin. Most of us would not sin if we were fully aware of the consequences as we were making our choice. But we’re deceived into believing we can have our cake and eat it too. And it’s not until later that we regret the decisions made – after we can see the damage we’ve caused.
But a similar dynamic holds throughout life. We might not be deceived per se, but we’re not God and so we can’t fully know the outcome of each choice made. We can only make the best choice we can in the moment.
And this is where wisdom and humility come into play. While we don’t know the future, we can still count the cost of our decisions – weighing the likely outcomes. And we can consider potential consequences beyond ourselves.
On the one hand, God has given us the ability to imagine potential futures. This allows us to play out different scenarios in our minds beforehand. And given our natural blind spots, it’s never a bad idea to run this by a few others as well.
At the same time, we must also consider the interest of others and not just ourselves. Simply pursuing our own happiness is not practicing love toward others. And eventually this brings harm to everyone.
In the end, life is filled with many unintended consequences. Be deliberate in your choices, and let wisdom and humility guide you.