Think with Sober Judgement-

Rosalind McDuffie during the “Burgers and Bible” Discussion on Romans 12


Some of the worst choices we make in life are because we act before considering the full range of options.  Over the course of my life I have made my share of poor choices.  I am sure someone reading this piece can testify that you have probably made some decisions that were not the best.  This can happen on every level:  choices in: education, employment, love, housing, investments, politics and more.  Sometimes the choice is when to speak and when to keep silent, when to fight and when to stand down, when to move and when to stay put, when to write and when to read, when to date and when to quit dating and move to the next level – marriage or break up.  Some people end up getting killed or injured because they hung around people they did not need to be around, or went some place they did not need to be.

Think of the mistakes we make because we act before we have thought something all the way through.  I know of more than one person who quit a job too soon, or stayed on the job too long; demanded a divorce and then regretted the decision; had unprotected sex and ended up with a child they were unprepared to raise; invested in businesses they really did not understand; moved to a city that seemed attractive, only to be let down, and more.

My father often told me how much he regretted not staying with me when taking me in the 8th grade to an orthopedic doctor to examine my knee that was sore from football and basketball injuries.  My dad dropped me off at the doctor’s office, on Joy Road and Grand River in Detroit.  I limped into the office and agreed I would take the bus home.  As it turned out, my knee was in fact dislocated and the doctor placed my entire leg from the ankle to the thigh in a heavy cast.  He provided me with crutches and I took the bus home.  Neither my dad or I had any idea of the severity of my injury, so in our collective lack of sober judgement I was left to fend for myself.

Life is full of choices for each of us to make.  When we choose well, we do well.  When we choose poorly, we do poor.  The Apostle Paul is encouraging his readers to “Choose Well.”

The portion of the Bible several groups in my church are reading and discussing at the same time is from the Book of Romans.  Last week we dove into chapter 12.  Listen to what the Apostle Paul has to say about thinking with sober judgement:

Romans 12: but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned[1]  (Vs. 3)

As is the case with every verse in the Bible, the scripture above points to a larger section that talks not only about “Thinking with sober judgement,” but how the sober thoughtfulness of our judgement should better enable us to understand and appreciate the unique skill-sets of others.

Romans 12: For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. [2]

This Thursday at 7 PM, the discussion on Romans will continue with a look at chapter 13.  The lesson will take place in my backyard with a light cookout of hamburgers and hotdogs (turkey burgers too!), and if you are in the Detroit area, I encourage you to stop by.  Call 313-831-2460 for directions or respond to me online at  Thanks for reading.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What process do you use to employ wisdom in your decision making process?
  2. How do you draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit in making your decisions?


Prayer:  Lord, help me to think clearly.  Before I speak and before I act, fill my mind with sober judgement.  Slow me down so I might think before I speak.  Speed my mind so I might consider all options before I act.  Grant me wisdom in every decision that I make and every action that I take.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ro 12:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ro 12:4–8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.