When most of us have a decision to make, there are three stages we move through . . .
- If we think it through and settle on an option, we’re ready to pull the trigger. So long as we’re reasonably sure. So long as we’re not sinning or violating God’s law. So long as we have a plausible explanation if it blows up. Done.
- If we can’t get to a decision on our own, we might call someone for advice. If we have a friend with domain expertise, that’s even better. And depending on how our marriage works, we might actually run it by our spouse.
- If we still can’t come to a conclusion, we may actually think about God. Maybe we’ve visualized potential ramifications downstream. Maybe we’re truly stuck and don’t have a clue which option to choose. Maybe we’re scared to death of screwing this one up. We might think about a Scriptural principle or a story of someone in the Bible who had a similar decision to make and how it turned out. Maybe we finally get on our knees and ask God what He thinks.
Notice how approaching decisions this way keeps us mostly wrapped up in our brains, our flesh, and our egos and out of God’s presence.
What if we started by asking God what He thinks? What if we spoke to our trusted advisors after we’ve sought the peace of Christ instead of before? Do you think we might see some decisions differently if we came to our opinions after going to the Father and getting counsel from smart people who know and love us? We know that our hearts are deceptive. And that the least trustworthy voice in our head is often our own. Why go there first?
Next time you’ve got a significant decision to make, approach it the opposite way. Start by writing down options, including both the action you’d take with that option and the likely consequence. Do this for every single option you’re considering.
Now get on your knees and ask, “Lord, what would you have me know here?” Ask that question about each option. Jot down thoughts that come into your mind as you ask Him about each one. Then talk to your advisors. Hold the decision with an open hand and keep yourself from reaching a conclusion as you’re describing the options and potential consequences to your advisors. Listen. Don’t argue. Don’t sell. Take notes.
Now it’s time to ask yourself some questions. “What do I want?” “Why do I want a particular option and its potential consequences?” Listen carefully to your words and especially your motives. Hopefully, you’ve gotten some impressions from your Heavenly Father. You’ve gotten input from people who may know more about this than you do. You’ve thought about what you want and why. And you’ve used your brain to analyze the information.
Now make the decision and get on with it!
Quote: “On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the Door of victory, sat down to wait, and waiting—died!” -George W. Cecil