It is truly amazing that many decisions have literally changed the course of human history. One example is that of Christopher Columbus, whose first appeal to Spain’s Queen Isabella to finance his voyage to India was turned down. Then everything turned around, simply because she changed her decision, and a new world was discovered!
It helps if we recognize and employ some basic guidelines in decision making.
First, consider that not every decision we’re faced with is a matter of life and death.
Decisions about what grade of gasoline to buy, whether to buy a shirt with or without a button-down collar, or whether to use a golf ball with high or low spin — aren’t going to matter much at the end of the day. There are, of course, decisions that do have serious consequences...eternal consequences...for you and others.
Second, be aware that the Satan will offer different choices to entice you to disobey God.
History’s greatest liar told Adam and Eve they would not die if they ate the beautiful but forbidden fruit, even though the Lord warned them they would face death (Genesis 3:4). Satan’s only motive in showing us a different way than God’s way is our destruction. In considering spiritual choices, remember that God is trustworthy; the devil isn’t.
Third, a significant guideline is that trusting God is primary to making good decisions.
Abram (“exalted father”), later known as Abraham (“father of a multitude”) didn’t know where the Lord was sending him or what would happen to him and his family. But because he had faith in God, he obeyed God and started out. Abram’s faithful decision resulted in the men and women of all nations being blessed through his seed, that is, Jesus the Christ (Galatians 3:16).
Fourth, self-indulgence always leads to poor decisions.
Some simply “want what they want when they want it,” no matter the consequences!
Solomon was basically a good man, and did some tremendous things as king of Israel. His wealth and wisdom, both given by God, have been legendary for 3,000 years! But his decision to marry foreign women, in direct opposition to the Lord (1 Kings 11:2), led to idolatry and the division of the nation to be God’s chosen people. Learning to discipline ourselves as disciples of Jesus is absolutely necessary to enjoying the blessings God has in store for the faithful.
Fifth, making good decisions sometimes means completely changing our life goals.
Before his vision on the Damascus road, Saul’s (later Paul) singular purpose in life was the persecution of the followers of Jesus. But because of what he learned, Saul was willing to change his mind about almost everything he believed about Judaism. He was prepared to suffer at the hands of others for his decision. Because of his courageous decision, God was able to use him to take the good news to millions.
All are faced with tremendous choices that will have effects on our lives and others. Decisions of this magnitude are seldom easy to make. What we decide will help determine where we go when we die. God will help us make good decisions if we will follow these basic guidelines.
A question for you: have you made the decision to follow the Lord?