October 11, 2022

This Is The Truth About Decision Making

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

It’s an old story but one worth repeating.  A young man who is being promoted goes in to talk to the CEO, who has been with the company for many years.  “What is the secret of your success?” he asks the old gentleman, who replies, “Making good decisions.”  “Yes,” answers the young man, “but how did you learn to do this?”  This time his answer was one word.  “Experience,” he replies.  “I understand that, sir,” replies the young man, “but I haven’t had the advantage of many years of experience as you have.  How do I gain the wisdom of your experience?”   “By making bad decisions.”  Well, so much for experience.

Some, however, never learn from experience.  They get stuck when it comes to decision making, or else repeat the same mistakes time after time.  But you can learn from experience.  Rate the following five statements as either true or false to see how much you have learned about decisions from the experience of other, perhaps wiser people.

Statement #1: The more opposition you anticipate from your decision, the more likely it is that you are making a good decision.  This is not necessarily true.  Consider the sources of opposition and what their motives are.  It may well be that their opposition comes because they see you making a poor decision based on bad judgment.  If one person tells you to buy a horse, forget it.  If two tell you that, better check.  If three say the same thing, better saddle up and ride off.

Statement #2: The longer you can avoid making a decision, the better it is.  Rate this one, usually true.  But avoid making a decision only if you are really uncertain as to what to do.  Queen Victoria always avoided making decisions, believing that if she waited, many situations took care of themselves.  This won’t work with a lump in your breast, which you suspect is malignant, or an ulcer, which seems to be getting worse.  But it may work when it comes to avoiding an argument with your neighbor.

Statement #3: When your friends tell you that you are making the wrong decision, you probably are.  True or false?  It can go either way.  You will often profit more from the criticism of your enemies than the encouragement of your friends.  Scripture tells us that faithful are the wounds of a friend, which means that a real friend loves you enough to be honest with you–which may mean the friend, not your enemy, is the one who says what you are doing is wrong.

Statement #4: The timing of your decision may be just as important as the decision itself.  Unqualifiedly true.  A study of both Scripture and history itself tells us clearly that good decisions announced at the wrong time can be catastrophic, but announcing the decision at the right time can bring the balance of power your way.

Statement #5: You can never make a wrong decision when you have a good feeling about it.  “Go with your gut” is the rule that many follow in making decisions.  I rate this generally false.  Honestly, there are times I’d like to punch someone or run him or her off the road.  It’s my old nature, and that decision would only result in more problems.

If, however, you make a decision a matter of serious prayer, get good counseling, and then feel a preponderance of circumstances giving you an inner witness as to what you think God wants you to do, then go with your feelings.  Frankly, most of my bad decisions in life were made when I followed the counsel of other people and disregarded the inner feelings of my heart.

Trust God. He’ll guide you!

 

Resource reading: 2 Kings 18:1-19:37