Is decision making ruining your life?
Are some people just born with an innate ability to make the right decisions at the right times under pressure? Personally, I have always felt fairly confident in the decision making department when it comes to immediate and less intensively important decisions (like what route I should take to get to a destination on time or what should I eat for lunch).
However, when it has come to the big decisions, I tend to stress and become anxious and then can be very indecisive. It may be that I fear making a big mistake… failing… hurting someone I love, or any number of other variables. I have witnessed people I know and love make colossal mistakes that have caused huge amounts of collateral damage – not fun! So I have decided that from now on when it comes to the big decisions I’m going to try something new… Stop Making Decisions!
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
It sounds and seems so simple, but trust me it’s not. If you lack wisdom, just ask and God will gladly give it to you. However, for most of us, God is usually the last resort for in the decision making process and especially when it comes to the big decisions. Additionally, our pride tends to get in the way of asking for help in general, whether it is of God or others in our lives.
Try this approach with me the next time you have a big decision in front of you. All three of these are counter intuitive actions. *Now obviously it goes without say (but I better say it anyway) that if you are in danger you should get help immediately. An abusive relationship should not have the luxury of more time – make a decision!
- Stop: Stop stressing… stop wasting time worrying… stop beating yourself up. Just stop! Slow down the pace of your life. Stop the fear and futility of thinking that you must make a decision NOW. A great resource I found and have used recently in regards to dealing with stress is Chip Ingram’s series called “Less Stress.”
- Listen: There are two important aspects involved with listening and decision making. Listening to God and to others (and in that order). Too often, we ask God and when we don’t hear anything we go and find someone who will give us what we want… answers now! Although having the right people around you to help you process the decision, it is very important to include wise people in your life… however, who is more wise, knows you the best and cares about you more then your Heavenly Father? Listening involves reading the bible as well as just sitting in silence for impressions laid upon your heart and mind. Once you have done the hard work of listening for God to answer, then take what you have heard from God and ask those wise people you trust what they think.
- Wait: This is the hardest part of the process for me! Waiting builds character and good character makes for better and better decision making. Just because you haven’t heard anything, doesn’t mean that God does not want to say anything to you. You may find that the decision you thought was so important was really just a tool God was using to do something greater and more important in your life.
So what do you think? Is decision making an art or a science? How you do you make big decisions?