Main Point: We must make godly decisions…or prepare to pay a price.
The Discussion Starter: Miley is regretting her decision big time.
Haven't we all regretted decisions at one time or another?
Miley Cyrus made a decision recently that she regretted big time. The Associated Press spelled it out:
- Miley Cyrus is taking issue with a photo of herself that's going around, and it's not another amateur, truth-or-dare Internet snapshot — it's the handiwork of Annie Leibovitz.
The photos will appear in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. They were taken by Annie Leibovitz, a renowned celebrity photographer whose edgy, silver-toned portraits have included other celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson and a naked, pregnant Demi Moore.
The picture doesn’t show any nudity, but it shows a shirtless Miley covering her front with a bed sheet and showing her bare back to the camera. Even though this picture isn’t pornographic, it disturbed Disney and Miley enough that they both issued statements. Most people agree that Miley has been tricked just so Vanity Fair can sell magazines.
Chances are good that all of us have done something that we regretted later. Chances are also good that we paid some sort of price for those actions. If we think about those moments, we’ll probably find that it was poor decision making that got us into trouble.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, tell everyone your name, and whether you have ever watched an episode of Hannah Montana.
- ASK A FEW: Miley seemed to change her mind. In Miley’s own words: “I think it's really artsy,” she told the magazine at the time. “It wasn't in a skanky way. Annie took, like, a beautiful shot, and I thought that was really cool. That's what she wanted me to do, and you can't say no to Annie. She's so cute. She gets this puppy dog look and you're like, 'O.K.'” But then, later she said: “I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.” Why do you think Miley changed her mind after she saw the pictures?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think Miley “really” regrets her actions? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever made a decision and regretted it later?
- ASK A FEW: When we make decisions based on “what feels right at the moment,” are those decisions usually right?
- ASK A FEW: What guideline should we use when making decisions?
- ASK A FEW: The world sometimes puts on a lot of pressure on us to do the wrong thing. Miley said that it was hard to say “no” to Annie…with her puppy dog look she was very convincing. Is there someone or something that's hard for you to say no to?
- ASK A FEW: How can we equip ourselves to make good decisions even when there is pressure to make bad ones?
Read the following passage:
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NLT)
 “Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.  Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”
Tonight, we saw just how easy it is for us to be tricked by the world into making poor decisions. Not only has it happened to lots of celebrities, including Miley, it’s also happened to us! The world can be pretty convincing in their lies, so much so, that their lies begin to sound like the truth in the moment.
But, the worst part of believing the world’s lies – and making poor decisions – is that we usually have to pay a price. Often times, the price we pay is much higher than we expected.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could know what the truth was in every circumstance? To be honest, that is very tough! But, I think we can get some help on the matter from Jesus. During one point in His ministry, 2,000 years ago, He said that everything in the Bible hinged on two commands. The first command was that we love God with all that we are. The second command was that we love other people as much as we love ourselves.
Now, when we get a chance to make decisions, we can ask ourselves, “Does this decision allow me to love God perfectly AND love other people perfectly?” If the answer is no, then we should not make that decision. We should keep looking for God’s truth in the circumstance.
But, knowing the truth is not enough. We still have to make decisions that line up with the truth of the Bible! If we don’t make godly decisions, we will have to pay a price.
Let’s all learn a lesson from Miley about making godly decisions based on God’s truth. It will honor God…and make our lives a lot better!
Close in prayer.
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.