Monday, October 7, 2013

How to Make Wise Decisions

Haha what a title huh? It's right up there with "How to make $1,000,000 without any effort".

Honestly though, let me share something very close to my heart. I am a very decisive person. I love planning, making decisions, thinking about possibilities. My husband is always poised and ready for my next "Honey, why don't we ____" comment. Or "Honey, I've been thinking....." (I think he particularly dreads that one).

I am always full of big ideas. But, I am also always ready for plans to change. That leads me to the first trick to making wise decisions:

1) Always remember that your plan is not always God's plan/will. 

I know, we all like the idea of being in control all the time. The idea of floating around in this universe where God is in control of everything is a little daunting, especially for control freaks like me. But it is true, and the sooner we come to terms with God's will, the sooner we can get to happily following his plans.

After all, why wouldn't we want to follow his plans? They are always for our ultimate good, they are always perfect, and even though they might defy our human logic, they are always the best plans.

That said, let me talk about the second, and most important trick to making wise decisions:

2) Pray before you do anything.

Seems pretty simple, right? But how often do we actually do it? We get so caught up in the moment, and our lives are so FULL, that we often forget to take the time to stop, take a breath, and pray for wisdom in a certain decision. This is like that rule that says you should go home from the store and think about a purchase before making it. Before making big (and sometimes even small) decisions in life, we need to consult the wisdom of God and pray that he will direct us to the best path.

I just talked my husband into making a profile on LinkedIn. He is not one for social media, but LinkedIn is an important tool for the job market these days. He signed up and not even 24 hours later he was contacted by a head hunter. Now we are in a whirlwind trying to decide if a serious pay raise is enough of a reason to move several states away, and in the opposite direction we were thinking to go.

The ONLY way to make such a direction is to immerse oneself in prayer. We are praying for wisdom and direction, and faithful in the knowledge that God will put us in the right place. Because I know that in the end God has a plan for us, and he will show us through a changing of circumstances, a gut feeling, the Bible, or wise words from a friend or family member what is the best direction.

Which brings me to the third and final trick to making wise decisions:

3) Seek wise counsel.
Sometimes we have to pray about who that wise counsel should be, but the Bible is clear that we are to consult wise counsel about difficult decisions:

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.  --Proverbs 19:20-21

There are a few people in my life that I trust enough to ask for wise counsel. Often these people are our family members, but we can also turn to Church elders, friends, neighbors. Be sure that whoever you ask is a prayerful Christian, as we have to be careful about seeking counsel from those who are influenced by other forces than God. This important step can often clear our own thoughts and allow God's will to shine through. 

Making decisions is not always cut and dried, but take some of the pressure off of yourself by following these steps. Be ready for whichever way things turn out, and be immersed in prayer all the while.

That said, I will keep you updated on our decision over here!

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