Most decisions are easy to make. In fact, before we consider the decision, we probably already have in mind the answer. Let’s face it, many times we have ulterior motives when it comes to making a decision. Usually, it involves some type of gain for us. That gain could range anywhere from money to reputation or improved relationships.
There are times that we need to make a hard decision. That is, one which must be seriously considered. It is likely that there are repercussions or consequences to decisions that we make. In that regard, you may be hesitant to implement the decisions for fear of the consequence. We can ask other people for advice that may turn out to be beneficial or harmful. The fact is, making the decision is strictly on our own shoulders. Unfortunately, when we make decisions, we seem to have a disconnect from those consequences and think that they are not relevant at the time.
Let us look at the means by which we can make decisions:
- Before any facts or issues or details can be considered, we must be guided by the Holy Spirit. To do so requires that if we have any unconfessed sin it must be brought to the Lord. In seeking God’s help, we must do it in a humble fashion without trying to make preconceived notions for what we want and then call it God’s will. If you are estranged from God, that is a big problem. Don’t expect his blessing when you not in a position to receive it. Don’t expect God’s guidance if you are not in the spiritual vehicle to take you there. Be very sure of your relationship with God. Pray earnestly that he will guide you.
- Identify the problem. This may sound easy, but there could be a multitude of issues surrounding the real problem. Don’t be confused by superficial layers of information. If you cannot readily identify the problem, STOP what you are doing. It would be helpful to write out a sentence that says specifically what is the problem. If you’re still confused, keep writing and writing until you can eventually see the real problem come to the surface.
- Now that you identify the problem, what are the details that surrounded it? What are the out shoots from it? Include in your search for the problem and identifying it any people that are involved and what ulterior motives they may have. It is likely they would like to manipulate you so that they have you come to the same conclusions that they want. You must be very clear in your mind the details and specifics of the problem.
- You may be seeking direction. You may be under the influence of a need. Understand what is pressuring you. Understand your fears.
- Identify all your alternatives. Then identify the consequences for each alternative. What is the most risky or dangerous for any alternative? Is there an alternative that would be simpler and easier than all the rest? It’s at this point that you must have a clear understanding with yourself for why you are needing to make a decision. What is prompting you to be in this predicament? Perhaps you should stop at this point and address what is prompting you. You may actually have more than one problem. You may need to address what has been prompting you before you reach the original question of a decision. That means you have to start this over again so you can resolve the problem before you go on to make a decision.
- After taking all the information into consideration, make a decision for your personal choice. Stick to your decision. Don’t vacillate back and forth between this decision and another one that you previously considered. Ride this decision out to its full conclusion. You started this by asking for help of the Holy Spirit, but keep in mind that God gave you a brain. The aim is for the Holy Spirit to influence your thinking. Ultimately, your brain must process all that you have been taking into consideration. Then select your alternative.
- Monitor how the situation has progressed. By implementing your alternative there will be consequences. How will those consequences affect you and other people? Ask yourself if this is what you really want.
- How successful were you in setting up this alternative? Did the final result present what you want? Are you willing to live with this decision? Since your alternative has been implemented, evaluated it. Make sure that this is an alternative that will have minimal negative consequences.
- If you find the alternative you chose or the consequences that occurred, and do not like it, then start over with this process. This is not necessarily to say that you failed or did something wrong. It means that that alternative is now ruled out. Stay with this process that may be done several times until you agree with yourself that this is what you want.
In the process of making all your decisions make sure that nothing interferes with your relationship with God. Also, make sure that it does not deter from your testimony to other people. Accept that you might need to make some sacrifices. In addition, enjoy the blessing that has resulted. Praise God for being with you during this time. If appropriate, share what you have learned or how you have benefited with other people as a testimony. Your experience could be a genuine encouragement to others.