“My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”
~ Theodore Hesburgh
We’ve all been there. Door after door. Choice after choice. Decisions, decisions. We have multiple opportunities before us. We have a decision to make. And this is no small decision; it’s a big decision, at least in the moment. What job to take. Where to live. Who to hire. Where to go to college. On and on it goes. We are constantly faced with decisions, many of which can affect the trajectory of our lives. It can be overwhelming at times, wondering if we are making the right choice. Decision-making doesn’t have to be stressful; it can be a peaceful process. So how do we have peace instead of stress?
My ten tips for the decision-making process:
- Think of the opportunities before you. What’s behind each of the doors? Write down the various choices you have in a particular area of your life.
- Evaluate each opportunity against the word of God. If an opportunity goes against Scripture, then the door needs to remain closed. Cross that choice off your list. If it is in line with Scripture, then keep it on your list for the time being.
- Pray. Bathe your decisions in prayer, asking God for clear direction and to shut the doors that need to be shut and open the door that needs to be opened.
- Seek wise counsel. The key word here is wise. Don’t run to anybody and everybody asking for their opinions. Turn to people who will give you good, solid, biblical advice. Let them speak into your life, and always evaluate advice against the Bible. It is not wise counsel if someone gives advice contrary to Scripture.
- If you’re married, discuss the various opportunities with your spouse. Our decisions affect other people, especially those closest to us. Decisions, especially big ones, shouldn’t be made in a vacuum. Husbands and wives need to discuss, pray, and seek wise counsel together throughout the decision-making process. If you’re single, find a trustworthy friend or mentor to discuss the decision before you.
- Consider your gifts, talents, passion, and how you can best serve God in each of these opportunities.
- Don’t rush the big decisions. There some things that we know right away, but there are other decisions that will take us longer to reach. Don’t give into the pressure to make a decision quickly, but at the same time, don’t waver forever in making a decision. Indecision is still a decision.
- Ask yourself the hard questions. Find some great questions to ask yourself at tifwe.org. Many of these questions are geared towards career decisions but can be adapted to other decisions.
- Trust your gut. Lean on the discernment of the Holy Spirit. Don’t be fueled by your emotions but uneasiness is often a red flag that shouldn’t go unchecked. It may mean that we need to say no to a particular opportunity or it may just not be the right timing.
- Seek God first. I’ve already mentioned Scripture and prayer, but I can’t stress this enough. Seek God first in everything. Follow where He leads you, and don’t go without His leading and guidance. Be ready to step out in faith. Walk in obedience to what God is calling you to do.
“Your own ears will hear him.Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.”
~ Isaiah 30:21 [NLT]