November 17, 2011

Making Wise Decisions

In a previous post I talked about how dangerous it is to try to “find your calling” or “find God’s will for your life”. The main premiss being that God has already shown you His will for your life in His Word. The parts of His will for your life that He has hidden from you, He has hidden for a reason.

So, instead of trying to discern God’s will for your life, the question now becomes: “How do I make wise, godly decisions that honor and glorify Christ?” That’s what I will address in this post. Though this list is not meant to serve as a formula that helps you “make the right choice every time”, I pray it will help you as it has me and my family in making tough decisions with the goal of bringing glory to our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The order of the list isn’t vital, although I would advise doing the first two steps first.

  • Pray. Tell Him your situation and your desire to honor Him in your choices. Ask Him for wisdom and guidance.
  • Read the Bible. The Bible does deal specifically with a lot of our questions and problems, but also give us wisdom in how to apply the Gospel to our lives fully.
  • Think. Weigh the options. We live in a culture that says we should feel our way to God and feel our way through life. We live in an American, Evangelical culture that believes if you think about a decision and use common sense, that is somehow less spiritual than the person who “just felt lead.” God gave you a mind and the way of making wise, God-honoring decisions is through the renewal of that mind, not abandonment of thinking.
  • Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. While we are to think, we can’t go to the other extreme and say that God doesn’t use our emotions and desires to guide us. Sometimes you are faced with multiple “good” options, yet one doesn’t feel right. Don’t ignore that feeling. That must be taken into consideration when you’re hashing it all out.
  • Seek wise counsel from mature believers. Talk through your situation with believers who love Jesus, read their Word, are growing in the faith, and love you enough to tell you when you’re about to make a stupid decision!
  • Finally, choose! Make a decision. Don’t wait around forever for that direct confirmation or perfect peace. That may never come and besides, you’re not promised that in Scripture. Once you have put Christ and His Kingdom first, you’ve put others before yourself, you’ve prayed, sought counsel, weighed the options… make the choice you believe most glorifies Christ and do it with all your might.
Though there are consequences for poor or foolish decisions, don’t be too worried about thwarting the will of an infinite, omnipotent, sovereign God 🙂

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