5-4-3 Tools for Making Good Decisions

April 20, 2010

5 Things To Know:

1) Know What You Believe (Matthew 6:45; Proverbs 23:7)

What you believe down deep in your heart is the most important thing about you. Notice I said what you believe, not what your parents or pastor or guidance counselor believes. Every major life decision should be run thru the filter of your personal statement of faith.

2) Know Who You Are (Psalm 139: Ephesians 1:4; Jeremiah 29:11)

Who are you? A random speck, a useless statistic? Or are you special, called by God, chosen, adopted, redeemed, loved, wonderfully created, uniquely designed, carefully held? Before you can know what to do you must know who you are and who you were created to be.

3) Know Who to Talk To (Proverbs 11:14)

Who is in your ear? Gather godly, experienced, seasoned people around you. Pick their brain and let them give their unvarnished opinion of your major decisions. Get a variety of perspectives, not just one opinion. Then carefully weigh them all and pray for God to move you in one direction.

4) Know What the Bible Says (Hebrews 4:12: Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119:105)

Does your decision violate God’s Word? Do you know if God’s Word speaks to your situation? At the end of the day, if you’re a follower of Christ, there is only one guidebook and rule for life: the Bible.

5) Know What God is Saying to You (John 16:13)

Allow the Holy Spirit to rule your life. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would “guide us into all truth.” So pray over your decision and ask the Spirit to give you direction and peace and then be willing to accept whatever and wherever He leads.

4 Things To Consider:

1) Consider Who Will Be Affected by Your Decisions (Philippians 2:3)

You don’t live in a vacuum. Who will be affected by your decision? Is that a consideration worth evaluating? The choices we make affect those around us, whether we want to admit it or not. The question is, will you be able to walk tall, knowing you considered the needs of others, as best as you possibly could?

2) Consider How You will be Affected by the Decision (Galatians 6:7-9)

Have you weighed possible consequences, five, ten years down the road? The Bible says that you will reap what you sow. It doesn’t give a timeframe for when that harvest comes, but it will come. What will the harvest of your choices look like?

3) Consider All The Information Before Making the Decision (James 1:19)

Some decisions must be made in a split-second. But most can wait a day or two for all the info to come in and for a calm investigation of all the facts. Weigh all sides, get all the data, and make a decision based on the best possible knowledge of the situation.

4) Consider Your Motivation in Making This Decision (Luke 17:33; Romans 12:1-2)

Ask yourself. Is this about you? What is your real motivation? Or is this about following the lead of the Holy Spirit and seeking God’s divine will. Now, if you’re truly following God, you’re desires and His purpose will be aligned. So don’t necessarily assume that because you’re excited about a decision that this automatically makes it against God’s will.

3 Things To Do:

1) Do Not Be Afraid of Failure (Matthew 25:14-30)

Seek God’s face. Get all the information. Pursue godly counsel. Consider the impact on yourself and others. But don’t be afraid to take a risk. Following God often involves huge, risky faith. Don’t always seek the safe life. Live dangerously if that’s where God calls you to go.

2) Do Make a Decision (Philippians 4:9)

Okay, now do something. Too many Christians suffer from “paralysis by analysis.” They constantly ask God for His Will but they never put one foot in front of the other and just do something. Hey, you’ve got to act. And yes, sometimes you’ll make poor choices. But that’s life and God’s grace rules even in our blunders. But do something. Make a decision. Go forward. Don’t live your life in hesitation and wandering.

3) Do Not Look Back (Philippians 4:13)

Paul said “this one thing I do”  was that he never looked back. Hey, you can’t change the past. You can only learn from it and press forward. Once you’ve sought wisdom and made a decision, go forward and don’t look back.

Adapted from Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life, copyright, 2010 by Daniel Darling, published by New Hope Publishers.