Your life is a result of the sum of your own decisions taken in the past. It is true that some decisions were taken on your behalf without your input or control from the time you were born until you started impacting your own destiny. It is true that we have collaborated on our demise and struggles by taking wrong decisions. We all have stories to tell about the price we paid when a wrong decision affected our well-being. Have you ever said “ I wish I had not said that, or I wish I had not done so?” We do find actions and words that have caused us and others more harm than good. Therefore, in order to make good decisions when we faced dilemmas, we must learn to take practical steps to discover the best alternatives.
The first step has to do with prayer. A disciple of Christ anticipates with prayer every step of the decision-making process. Prayer has many rewards. It helps us discover God’s will in our lives. His will is good, pleasing and perfect. His moral will is established in his Word, the Bible. Certainly, beyond the moral will, we must also discover our individual will. Sometimes we are at a crossroad of two or more moral alternatives. At such moments, we must formulate a practical plan to help us identify the best possible option.
The second critical step is to seek counsel with qualified individuals. As you select your circle of counsel, make sure you find people who care for you and are willing to share their wisdom without any bias. For example, a wife who is upset with her husband about a particular delicate matter, should avoid going to her mother for help. Mom is going to side with her, that is her nature. Consequently, the husband’s image will be tarnished and the mother in-law will have future uncomfortable issues with her son in-law. On the other hand, a young mother can ask her mom for advice regarding children’s upbringing. This is when a grandmother’s love and experience can help.
Thirdly, make a written and well-investigated plan. One thing is to think about a decision, and another is when you place ideas in some sort of writing. Something amazing happens to our mental capacity when we place ideas and alternatives in writing. We may do a brainstorming chart with diagrams and words. Also we can do a cost-and-benefits analysis. Invariably keep people in mind, and make sure your decisions do not hurt other people who count on you. A selfish decision is the beginning of many tragedies in relationships.
Finally, avoid certain pitfalls when taking a serious decision. For instance, do not make decisions based on fear, pain, anger, pride or pressure from others. Do not let stress from other individuals influence your decisions. Do not let anger or personal pain mix with your ability to decide. Likewise, do not let pride drive your decisions. It is dangerous to take a decision with a mind-set that says: “I will show them how capable or superior is my idea or project.” Instead, we must be well-informed and humbled when making a final decision. We want our decision to make a difference for the good of our destiny and others who will also benefit. Remember, if you ever make a decision which ends in failure, learn from it, take responsibility, and make adjustments. But most of all, honor God with all your decisions.
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley” – Joel 3:14