How do I avoid turning my life into a train wreck? By Allan Bulman

How do I avoid turning my life into a train wreck?

Some honest & practical nuggets of wisdom for living life well
Sun 21 May 2023
Bible reference(s): Proverbs 24.30-34; Proverbs 28.19; Proverbs 6.25-29; Proverbs 15.33

How do we make wise decisions?

The late Apple founder Steve Jobs once said that "you've got to find what you love" and that "the only way to do great work is to love what you do". Is this realistic? Should we do what we love and follow our dreams? How do we make wise decisions?

Our guest Allan Bulman (Director of the Takeovers Panel) is someone accustomed to expediting decisions for a living. Allan has observed the consequences of his own personal decisions and the decisions of others.

Drawing practical wisdom from a potentially surprising source, this episode offers practical and helpful advice on living and thriving today.

This Bigger Questions episode is a re-release of Episode 46 (recorded under the show's former title, hence the absence of episode number).

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Bigger questions asked in the conversation

You make decisions on the Takeovers Panel - what sort of decisions do you have to make?

Are the decisions always popular?

What sort of factors do you need to take into account when making decisions?

Have you made any bad decisions? Or can’t you say?

Smaller Questions

Today we’re talking with Allan Bulman about making wise decisions and trying to help people avoid train wrecks of their lives. So Allan in today’s quiz I thought I’d test you on how well you know, ‘train wrecks’.

Decisions have consequences

R.C. Richards, the author of the book on train accidents, describes “thoughtlessness” as the biggest cause of train wrecks. How do you think this applies to our lives?

The title of the movie Trainwreck implies that Amy Schumer's life is a disaster. Yet she would possibly deny that when she says, "I am just a modern chick who does what she wants," What would you say to Amy?

Would some of her decisions lead to train wrecks?

Could her life be a train wreck and she not realise it?

Allan's story

We’re interested to hear about why you believe the Scriptures are worth following. Allan, what convinced you to become a Christian believer?

Proverbs - decisions have consequences

The book of Proverbs is a part of the Bible which offers short pithy insights into the nature of life in the world. It offers practical, memorable wisdom for living life. What do you make of Proverbs? Do the sayings there surprise you?

Proverbs offers common sense observations about the decisions we make in life, e.g. Proverbs 24:30-34 makes the connection between the decision to be lazy and subsequent unproductiveness,

I went past the field of a sluggard,

past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;

31 thorns had come up everywhere,

the ground was covered with weeds,

and the stone wall was in ruins.

Do you think Proverbs is affirming the idea that certain decisions have consequences?

And we can discern these consequences at times? Hence a lazy person won’t get rich or wealthy?

In your observations on life what do you make of the claim Proverbs makes that certain decisions have consequences?

Proverbs - Do what you love

It’s common in our world today to make decisions in order to be ‘true to yourself’. The late Apple founder Steve Jobs once said in a speech that "you've got to find what you love" and that "the only way to do great work is to love what you do". Is this realistic?

Proverbs 28:19 Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty

What does this say to Steve Jobs’ philosophy of ‘do what you love’?


The movie Trainwreck starts with Amy’s father divorcing her mother due to an affair. The father tells his two young daughters, one of whom is Amy, to recite like a mantra, “Monogamy isn’t realistic”.

These decisions are contrary to the message of Proverbs which encourages a man to ‘drink water from his own cistern’ and ‘not to share sexual love with anyone other than a husband or wife’.

From what you have observed, will the rejection of monogamy lead to a train wreck of a life?

Proverbs 6:27 implies that there are negative consequences of adulterous decisions, Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? What do you make of this?

Role of fear of the Lord in wisdom

The Bible doesn’t just give common sense, although the words of wisdom can sometimes seem like that. The Bible speaks about a connection between the wisdom of living in the world and the ‘fear of the Lord’. For example,

Proverbs 15:33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,

and humility comes before honour.

Why do you think that is?

What is the significance of humility? Does that help when making mistakes?

Mistakes - have you made mistakes? How do you deal with that?

The Big Question

So Allan, how do I avoid turning my life into a train wreck?