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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wisdom for Decision Making

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Nelson Roth
I’d like to tell a story that I read about a man who ran into a snowstorm while driving through the mountains of Colorado as an illustration of decision making.  In the snowstorm, the man got disoriented and completely lost, then he saw a snowplow and decided to follow it.  He kept as close as he could while it plowed away the snow. At times, the blowing snow almost cut off his view; but the guide ahead of him kept on leading the way. After some time, the plow stopped, and its driver got out and walked over to the car saying, “Where are you going?”   The man in the car said, “I’m on my way to Denver.”  The snowplow driver replied,  “Well, you’ll never get there following me! I’m plowing a parking lot!”

In order to get to our destination, we must make sure we’re on the right road. And, we need to be sure we’re following the One who is the wisdom giver for direction in our life.

So, how do we find wisdom for decision making?

  • First of all, we must recognize that wisdom does not come from us.  “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26:12
  • We must ask God for wisdom. James 1:5-8
Here are seven questions to check off when seeking wisdom for decision making. Together they help in making sure we’re on the right road and following the One who is the wisdom giver.

1. Is Jesus in first place in my life?

This is a matter of Lordship.  It asks, “Am I willing to do His will, whatever it will be?”  This was the topic of my recent blog article titled - How can we know what God’s will is?  Proverbs 3:7

2. What does the Bible say?
What principles, commands or prohibitions from the Bible apply to the matter that is in question?  Being obedient to the written will of God in order to know His unwritten will was the topic of my blog article about God’s will titled - Getting and staying on track. Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 13:13

3. Have I prayed and how is God leading as I pray?
Wisdom is available for all who ask.   Seek God everyday for several weeks.  Don't be in a hurry or feel pressured to do something.  Make a positive and negative balance sheet regarding the matter that is in question. Luke 6:12-16; James 1:5; Proverbs 2:6

4. Have I sought wise counsel?
When faced with a decision, find a faithful mentor or two and ask for their input and objectivity. Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 11:14

5. Do I have an uneasy conscience about it?
Decisions include, how we feel about the matter as well as what our thoughts are.  A feeling of uneasiness may be cause for caution.  This may also include circumstances that have or are happening and how they relate to God’s will and timing.  Colossians 3:15

6. Could this decision have a negative effect on me or on someone else?
To consider implications of my decision particularly on others who may be affected can give bearing on decision making.  1 Corinthians 8:1-13

7. Can I live with consequences that may come from my decision?

Asking this question may help to discern whether to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to something you are considering.  Proverbs 22:3

How do you feel about these questions for guiding you in decision making?

What might be the place to start in the checklist for a decision that you have to make?

Feel free to ask questions and comment below. 

We'll continue with this conversation on how to know the will of God next week.

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