Thursday, March 24

Making Wise Decisions

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Decision making is the hardest thing in the world for me to do and is something I have always hated from simple things like which flavor Popsicle I wanted, what movie I wanted to watch, where to have my birthday dinner, what shirt to wear, etc. I seriously would have panic attacks all the time when I had to make even the simplest of choices. It was really rather pathetic but I honestly could not handle the possibility that I might pick something someone else wanted. Every time I did end up making a decision it wasn't my own, it was always what I thought someone else would want me to pick. I learned to read people and learned to decide based on them. Consequently decision making got a whole lot easier for me, or so I thought, but in reality I was no better off and in fact completely incapable of deciding things for myself. By the time I finished High-school I had lost my identity in what my friends liked, what my parents liked, etc. I had no idea what I liked. This proposed a big problem as some really big life altering decisions before me such as what was I going to do with my future. I began to realize that some decisions simply could not be made based on what everyone else wanted I was going to have to decide for myself! :(

But how?? I was totally clueless I literally choose my college by flipping a coin....after eminem moe eliminations. Totally scientific I know.... I did have other methods as too but nothing all that effective. So as you can prolly suspect when the important decisions began to arise I was totally clueless and flopped a lot of the time. Turns out my methods of avoiding making decisions got me in a lot more trouble then it would have been to actually take the time and thought to make them the right way.

Decision making is not easy especially when you desperately want to make the right decisions. For me the first thing I had to realize is that there is not always a right and wrong choice and that often times choosing to avoid making a decision or putting it off is far worse then taking a chance and making a decision to do something. Doing nothing is not in anyway helpful. Nevertheless I was able to compile a list of things to consider in making wise and biblical decisions, so I thought I would pass them along in hopes that you will not have to make the mistakes I have made and also in hopes that you might find them as helpful as I have found them to be in my life thus far.

I challenge you to ask yourself these 10 questions the next time you find yourself faced with a difficult decision.

1.) First and foremost ask yourself is there a direct command for it or against it in the Bible.

Exodus 24:7
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey."

John 14:15
If you love me, keep my commands.

2.) Next ask is this decision going to cause others to stumble in the faith or will this hurt anyone? In the same way would the alternative do so?

1 Corinthians 8:13
Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

Romans 14:21
It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall

1 Corinthians 8:9
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

3.) Then next thing to ask yourself in making a decision is this activity necessary?

1 Corinthians 6:12
"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.

4.) Then ask will this harm me?

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

Matthew 5: 13-16
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

5.) Could this activity become addictive or rob me of my freedom?

Proverbs 6:27
Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?

1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.

6.) Will this decision or activity promote evil?

Romans 12:9
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:22
reject every kind of evil.

Proverbs 8:13
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

7.) Can I ask God's blessing on this activity?

John 8:28
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up[a] the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me

Deuteronomy 30:9-10
The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

8.) Would I act differently if Jesus were standing next to me?

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Hebrews 4:13
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Jeremiah 16:17
My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.

9.) Can I glorify God in this thing?

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Peter 4:11
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

10.) Lastly What would Jesus do?

1 John 2:6
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

1 Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Let us start making decisions the right way, let us answer these 10 questions and march forth shining the light of Christ!

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