How to make good decisions, part one

how do we know

……..when we’re making the right decision?

Sometimes, it’s so easy. Our thinking, our circumstances, God’s direction all fall plainly into view. We just know. I love times like that. I’ve always found decisions easy to make for the most part. Some people are paralyzed by the prospect. I find sometimes making a decision is better than letting something stagnate.

But then there are those times, like right now when I’ve exhausted every possible avenue in my “tired of thinking it through” mind. I’ve thought through every possible angle, read every possible Scripture verse that applies, been praying for days. I’ve decided one way and then another and found justification to support both opposing views. I’ve felt great peace and then no peace. When I made my final final decision, my hubby asked me, “Are you sure?” 

“Of course, I’m not sure.”

There are some decisions we will simply never be sure about. Even if everything turns out o.k.  And even when it doesn’t, it may not mean we made the wrong decision. No amount of Monday morning quarter backing will make it any clearer either. That’s why sometimes we just have to make our decision and live with the consequences of our decision. When it directly impacts others, we just need to be as sure as we can.

In this case, I’ve done my homework. I’ve  worked through every possible scenario. Unless God makes it clear I’m heading down the wrong path, I’m going on the assumption that my decision-making process has been directed by God and my decision meets with his approval. Every day I ask for wisdom for whatever comes my way. God promises that wisdom is ours for the asking and I sure have been asking.

I know it’s possible to convince ourselves of anything but when I look back over the decisions I’ve made over the years, I feel a certain sense of confidence in my decision-making ability. Often those of the Christian faith refer to having “peace” about their decisions. But there is such a thing as a “false” peace.  We can talk our selves right into a  feeling that mimics peace and thus convince ourselves that because of that feeling, we have made the right choice. But it’s not the peace that comes from God. (Jesus said there is his peace and then there’s the peace that comes from the world.)

The peace that comes from God is almost never accompanied by a feeling. It’s more of a quiet confidence that he is in control because you’ve asked him to be. In fact, we can be making the right decision and still be uneasy about it. God never said doing the right thing or making the right decision will always be accompanied by positive feelings. In faith issues, we too often let our emotions get in the way. I posted a few days ago about “dizzy” emotions being a good indicator of how we’re living our lives. I don’t have any of that “dizziness” going on inside so that makes me feel good.

We’re human. Most of us try to do the right thing.  Sometimes we get it right.  Sometimes we don’t. We can feel good with the first and we can learn from the second.  In a few weeks.

I’ll know the results of my decision but whether it was a good or bad decision I may never know. Sometimes decisions are neutral.

I told you back week that we are adding on to our cabin. That was a difficult decision. It’s difficult to know whether you have a good contractor or not. Sure, you can get references. But who knows even then. We all different definitions of what a “good” contractor is anyway. For me, a good contractor is someone who does quality work is, who knows the codes and requirements of the area, who comes in at the budgeted amount, and of course, who is willing to work with me. We’ve had a number of conversations with this young man and so far, so good.

However, we also just had some work done on our deck and in that case, I’m not so sure it was a good decision. ‘

There are times when even with our best effort, we make a mistake.

When that happens, I try to remind myself that it’s a “thing” not a “person, so I try to not be so hard on myself.

I’ve looked back on the years I took care of my mom and the huge amount of decisions I made about her and her health. There were lots of them. She was almost deaf, had vision problems, had high blood pressure, A-fib, fell a lot, suffered from depression, etc. In each of those areas, there were multiple layers of decision to be made. I’m fairly confident I stayed on top of everything and always did what was best for her. But there were times I had no time to think and I had to trust that God was leading me.

Because we never know when we may be called on to make a decision, I pray for wisdom every day for every decision that comes my way, whether big or small.I would be afraid to start a day without that request.

How about you?

Are you praying for wisdom?

Are you trusting that God will direct you?

Remember, every decision we make has repercussions.

God bless and make good decisions today.