Thursday, February 28, 2008

Decision Making 101

The first scripture I ever memorized is Proverbs 3:5-6. It says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and He will direct your paths." Those verses have served me well over the years. Many times, I have learned the hard way that my own understanding is usually far, far from the wisdom I have needed to decipher the trials and tribulations of life. On my own, I can't accomplish much of anything. But, with God, the possibilities are endless!!

Decision making is no different. When we are faced with a fork in the road and can't discern which path is the right one to pursue, acknowledging Christ is the best place to start. He wants us to desire His will for every decision. Most times, our will does not line up with His; not if we follow our first instinct. We almost always will choose the easiest path, the most obvious path, the shortest path, or the one that seems to be the most pleasurable. His path for us does not usually fall into one of those cut and dry categories.

How is His will determined? Well, it's not very easy sometimes, but it is do-able. Matthew 6:10 plainly states that God's desire is for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done on the earth. Basically that is telling us that first and foremost, whatever the final decision is, it needs to bring glory to Him and it needs to enhance His kingdom. That one verse lets us know that finding out what God wants is the most important part of our decision.

Right now, my husband and I are faced with some very difficult decisions concerning the well-being of his 76 year-old mother. She is currently in the hospital suffering from the effects of multiple strokes and is in need of full-time care in the near future. That is a hard place in which to find yourself; making decisions that will effect the remainder of your mother's life. I guess, sooner or later, every person with an aging parent will be in a similar situation. For us, this is our first time and it is heart-wrenching to say the least.

We are constantly asking ourselves how we can best handle this-or-that. What would she want us to do? What is the best solution for her? Why do we even have to be in such a situation? Why is this so hard? Traveling down this undesirable road has often left us with a less-than-joyful attitude. As I have studied God's Word looking for solutions, some of the words that have leaped right off the page have been in Romans 12:2. Renewing our minds, focusing on Christ and His Word; those things will keep our attitudes in check as we decide which path to take.

If you find yourself facing some hard decisions (as we all will eventually), all you have to do is pick up your Bible. In it, you will find not only the answers, but the right questions to ask yourself.

-Will my decision show God's love and build another person up or is it for my own selfish desires?
( Romans 15: 2-3, 1 Corinthians 10:24, 1 Corinthians 10:33)

-Will my decision honor the Word of God?
(1 Corinthians 10:31, James 1:22, Titus 1:9)

-Will my decision glorify God?
( Psalm 64:10, John 17:10, Ephesians 1:11-12)

-Will my decision make me a more effective witness for Christ?
( Isaiah 43:10, 1John 4:12-15, 1Timothy 4:12)

-What is the right thing to do?
(Psalm 119:128, Galatians 6:9-10)

Facing difficult decisions is something none of us look forward to, it is just a part of life that we all have to deal with. God's Word will never fail to give us the answers we need, refresh our joy and calm our spirits during the process.

Psalm 119:28 offers the remedy for the heaviness we experience in our hearts during the tough times; "My life dissolves and weeps itself away for heaviness; raise me up and strengthen me according to (the promise of) Your word."

Psalm 119:130 says: "The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple."

He will NEVER leave us wondering which path to follow. Acknowledge Him first, He will illuminate the way and you can rest peacefully when you know you have made a God-honoring decision.

Leave a comment and let me know how this article may have helped you today!
May God Bless you always,

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