Decision Making

College scholarships, college applications, college visits, career paths, job applications, job industries…decisions, decisions.  At some point, all of us reach the stressful state of choosing between two or more perfectly good options.  This state does not last for very long—a couple of months at most—before we reach a decision and move on with our lives, but during that time…well, let’s just say we’re about as relieved when it’s over as we are after getting a flu shot.  But seriously, decision making is tough.  It’s frustrating when deadlines are involved, we’re maybe concerned about the reactions of our parents and friends, the options have equal promise and impossibility, we’re not really sure what we want, and everyone is encouraging but mum as to their own opinions.

  • There is good news for us decision makers though: we’ll eventually come to the right answer. How?  We simply seek our future in Gods wisdom.  It’s that simple!  To milk our decision making for all its worth, we research and ponder in purity, peaceably, with reason, and with impartialityProdding in purity enables us to avoid options that would dishonor God.  Probing peaceably allows us to productively talk out our ideas, thoughts, and frustrations, while effortlessly eluding arguments.  Weighing our options with reason keeps us humble and highly susceptible to good advice.  Investigating with impartiality helps us to look at each option with an open and unattached perspective.  We may prefer one college over another, but visiting, learning, and observing each college with impartiality will allow us to make our best decision.  The key ingredients to seeking our future in God’s wisdom not only consist of purity, peaceably, reason and impartiality, but also gentleness, mercy, and sincerity.  Querying in gentleness and mercy enables us to accomplish our goals and God’s goals without fear of stepping on anyone’s feelings.  Pondering in sincerity lets us be open with others and honest with ourselves.IMG_4982
  • With the stress, miscommunication, and frustration of decision making, how do we keep our actions from going haywire? Well, while our actions are not always going to stay balanced as we make decisions one thing we can do is rely on the sufficiency of the Holy Spirit to hone in our actions so that we can make decisions with patience and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • What about when it comes to making a really tough decision that we’re just not sure about? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a manual called Decision Making the Easy Way?  While decision making is never easy, it can be made less severe and stressful.  Hands down, Proverbs 16 is the go to proverb for direction seekers.  Proverbs 16 says that we can feel secure knowing that God ultimately executes our plans.  This means that we can do our research, come up with ideas, and ponder, allowing God to direct the outcome.[1]  Just like a test, sometimes we can use the process of elimination to come up with the best answer by asking ourselves if our motives in the right place.[2]  When we commit our decisions to God, we will always succeed.[3]  We benefit from listening to instruction and trusting God.[4]  To sum it all up, when we’re faced with a really tough decision, we can take a deep breath, resort to discernment, and allow God to illuminate the answer.

[1] (Proverbs 16:1,4,9)

[2] Proverbs 16:2

[3] Proverbs 16:3

[4] Proverbs 16:20

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