We make hundreds of decisions each day. From what to wear to work or eat for breakfast, to what kind of car to buy, or who to invite to a party. Of course, there are incredibly important decisions like who to marry or whether to move to a different city or change jobs too.
Let’s consider for a moment how decisions are made. Many times we have a thought or an attitude that will then result in a choice or decision. So we must be sure that our thoughts and attitudes are aligning with God’s Kingdom and God’s priorities.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 instructs us: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Sometimes it’s a fight to get our thoughts to obey the ways of God, but that’s where the decision-making process begins.
So once we are sure our thoughts are lining up with God’s ways, how can we be sure that we are making the best decisions? Thankfully there are some great guidelines for Christians that can help us make good choices.
Make Decisions That Honor God
If we remember with every decision that we should honor God, it will help keep us on track. How do we know how to honor God? We must know our Bible. The Bible gives us instructions so that we know what God expects of us as His children.
In Deuteronomy 11:26-28, we learn that obeying God brings blessing, but disobeying God brings trouble: “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.”
If we want to make better decisions, then we need to make Biblical decisions. The Bible clearly instructs us not to lie, to forgive others, to worship and praise only God, to be kind, to love our enemies, and the list goes on. Every time you learn something new in the Bible that God says to do or not do, decide to honor God by obeying (and ask Him for strength to help you do it). You’ll find that over time, your decisions and your life will get better!
Make Decisions That Honor Others
We live in a very selfish world; people are constantly thinking about themselves and how to promote themselves no matter who they hurt on the way to the top. This mentality is prevalent in music, movies and other media. This mindset is rooted in pride, and it’s not God’s way.
Philippians 2:3-4 tells us, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
If we want to make godly decisions, we must commit to making decisions that consider the wellbeing of others. For example, the Bible clearly teaches against slander and gossip. Obviously, these actions can ruin relationships and hurt others, not to mention make us look bad in the process.
Talking about others in a negative way certainly doesn’t honor them. And remember: every person is made in the image of God, so refuse to do anything that would dishonor God or those who are His image-bearers.
Make Decisions Based on Wisdom of Seasoned Believers
Prideful people rarely seek the advice and wisdom of others because they already have it all figured out. But Proverbs 13:10 says, “By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.”
If you have a decision to make, and you want to make sure that you’re honoring God and others, seek the wisdom of a mature Christian whom you respect—a person who has the Fruit of the Spirit in their life, habits, and character (Galatians 5:22-23). In fact, Proverbs 15:22 teaches, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.”
It’s wise to seek advice and knowledge concerning spiritual matters from godly, trustworthy people. “When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you” (Proverbs 2:10-11). There’s safety and peace in seeking counsel.
But how do we know that the advice we’re receiving is from God and not from man? James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” If the advice you receive agrees with this scripture as well as the teachings in the Word of God, then it’s good, godly advice.
Don’t be Anxious—Pray
Last, but not least, we need to talk to God about our decisions. Refuse to get overwhelmed or confused about decisions you need to make. Instead, do what Philippians 4:6-7 commands: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
While we are seeking God, speaking with godly counselors, and consulting God’s Word, we can enjoy peace. In fact, God’s peace is like a thermometer: if you sense His peace (and you know your decision lines up with His Word), then you know you’re on the right track.
And if you feel like you need wisdom about what to do, check out what James 1:5-6 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
If we tell God about our decision, He will guide us with His peace. And if we ask and don’t doubt, God will give us His wisdom as we make decisions that honor Him and others.
~ by Jennell Houts