Ever been there before?
A painful decision is before you. And you’re not sure what to do.
Which major should I select?
Who should I marry?
Where should I live?
In life, you’ll face a lot of hard decisions. When those decisions come, use these seven steps. I elaborate on each step below.
1) What does the Bible say?
God doesn’t want you to murder people, look at porn, and gossip. How do I know? Because the Bible says so. If the Bible says no, the answer is no. If the Bible says yes or it doesn’t say anything, move to number two.
2) What do others say?
John Calvin became a pastor because someone told him he should, and that if he didn’t, God would curse him. Now, this is an extreme example. But the point is clear: God can use other people to change the trajectory of your life.
But no one is God except God. So your pastor and your friend’s advice is not always perfect. And you might even disagree. But give them a listen. “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).
Ask other wise Christians for help.
3) Have you prayed about it?
I mean, two second prayers are great. But if it’s weighing you down, spend a lot of time in prayer. Prayer might not change your circumstances, but prayer will change you. It will prevent you from becoming joyless and anxious. And God, of course, can direct your steps through prayer. Pray for wisdom, for guidance, for help.
4) What would be wise?
Is smoking cigarettes a sin? Umm, not necessarily. Is it wise? No.
Is coffee awesome all-the-time? Yes. Is it wise to drink a bucket right before bed? No.
“Is this wise?” is a good question to ask for the gray areas of life.
5) What does your conscience tell you?
Many texts, but here’s one: “So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man” (Acts 24:16).
For example, alcohol. It can be okay to drink in moderation and if you’re over the drinking age. The Bible gives you a green light. But if alcoholism runs rampant in your family history, and your conscience tells you not to drink, you shouldn’t. Of course your conscience isn’t perfect. But you should listen to it.
Kevin DeYoung says this: “We don’t think about the conscience as much as we should. God speaks to us through the conscience and when we ignore that voice we put ourselves in grave danger.”
6) What do you want to do?
Don’t turn your desires into demands, but pay attention to them: what do you desire to do?
Did God tell me to start a blog? No. I know I like to write, and want to bless people. So I started a blog a few years ago. For the first three years, no one read this site. Now, by God’s grace, over 10,000 unique visitors stop by every month. Point is: I just picked something I wanted to do, and did it.
God didn’t tell Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He just started rebuilding, and God blessed his work as he went along.
Sometimes you should wait on God, other times you should just do something and ask God to bless you as you go.
Don’t over-complicate this: What do you want to do? As long as it’s not a sin, do it.
7) Just Do Something
Just make a decision. Which one? Any one. Just do something. And trust God’s Providence is steering your every move. He won’t steer you in the wrong direction. “God works out all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11). All things. Including your decisions.
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Making decisions is so easy. Yet, it’s so hard. And if you forget everything, remember this: God is going to get you where he wants you. As Mark Batterson once said, “God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.”
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