How to Make Good Decisions
“Fools will believe anything, but the wise think about what they do. Wise people are careful and stay out of trouble, but fools are careless and quick to act.” Proverbs 14:15-16 (NCV)
Over the past few weeks, our pastor has been talking about how we make decisions. He suggested that we ask ourselves four specific questions when we are faced with a making a decision and don’t know which option to choose.
1. Am I being completely honest with myself?
We may be leaning one way or the other in our decision, but are we being truthful with ourselves about WHY we are leaning that way? Most people make choices based on their desire for power, pleasure or promotion. When this is the basis for your decision, you might soon find that your choice is, at best, unfulfilling and at worst a disaster. Take the time to look within and ask yourself if you are being completely honest with why you want to make a particular choice. Are your reasons honorable? Will they bring glory to God? Will this be the best decision for your future and the future of your family?
2. What story do you want to tell?
Long after your decision is made, you will be living and telling your story to your children, to those around you. Do you want to tell about how you made a hasty decision – a wrong choice that led you down a path of destruction? Or do you want to tell about how a particular decision was the best thing you ever did and how it led to a life that honored God? What story will each decision tell? Think about that BEFORE you make your choice.
3. Why do I feel this tension?
Sometimes when we have decided to go a certain way after weighing all the options, we get this unexplainable check in our spirit. Red flags go up, though we might not know exactly why. Our conscience is pricked, we feel a slight uneasiness about what we’re about to do. LISTEN to that niggling little tension. It’s there for a reason. Take just a bit more time to pray about your decision before you rush ahead. You’ll be glad you did.
4. What would honor God most?
Which option would be most pleasing to God? Which one lines up with His will for you? Which one lines up with His word? That’s the RIGHT option. That’s the one that will bring blessings into your life. That’s the way to go.
I’ve jotted these questions down on a 3 X 5 card and stuck it in my Bible to remind me to consider them when faced with a decision. I’m convinced that we would not fall when tempted if we would just stop and ask ourselves these four simple questions.
How about you? Can you think of a time when you made a really good decision that changed your life? How about a really poor decision that messed up everything? Do you think asking these questions would have kept you from making that wrong choice or helped you to make a better choice?