Devotionals by Dale O'Shields


Thinking Ahead

Life consists of choices. Everyday we make hundreds of decisions. Most of these are basic choices like what foods we’ll eat, what clothes we’ll wear, and a variety of other similar things. Some decisions are simple and somewhat insignificant, while others are serious, leading to important and long-lasting consequences.

The quality of our decisions determines the quality of our lives. To have a better life, we must make better decisions. And the way to make better choices is to think ahead — to consider the results, the impact, the potential consequences of our decisions. The difference between a wise person and a foolish person is contemplation and consideration in their life choices.

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, reflecting on the spiritual fall of God’s people and the pain it produced, made an important observation about Judah’s bad choices:

… she gave no thought to her future … — Lamentations 1:9 (NLT)

God’s people made a major mistake. They made decisions without thinking about the end result. They never reflected on where their choices would take them. They didn’t think ahead! They didn’t consider the future destination of their decisions.

Putting our potential choices in the light of tomorrow’s consequences brings clarity to us. It makes certain decisions easier. It keeps us from a great deal of pain and problems. Think about all the things you would have done differently if you had more carefully considered the consequences. Think about the pain and problems you could have avoided with a little more foresight.

Improve the quality of your life by improving the quality of your decisions. Practice wisdom by thinking ahead!


Dale O'Shields


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About Dale O'Shields

Dale O’Shields is the founding and Senior Pastor of Church of the Redeemer, a multi-cultural church that operates four campuses in Maryland, just north of the greater Washington, DC area.

Dale O’Shields is known for his relevant teaching style focused on practical application in people’s lives. His messages are regularly broadcast on radio and television. He is also the author of several books, devotionals and group study guides.

Dale O’Shields is a frequent conference speaker with a passion for leadership development and church growth. He has served as the Senior Pastor of a thriving local church for over 25 years. His heart to equip and encourage pastors and church leaders has led him to be a key founder of United Pastors Network.

Dale O’Shields has been involved in pastoral ministry since 1978, serving previously as Director of Campus Ministries and as an adjunct instructor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He and his wife Terry have two married daughters and seven grandchildren.

Contact Practical Living with Dale O'Shields

Mailing Address
Church Of The Redeemer
19425 Woodfield Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
(301) 926-0967