What decisions do you face this week? How about in the next few months? What about in the next year or so? How do you prepare to consider your options and come to the best route to follow in your decision-making?
How do you makes choices in your personal and professional life? How do you make decisions that not only affect you but family members, friends, colleagues, etc.? How do you make choices in these important areas that glorify the Lord?
I have made errors at times due to rush or rash judgments, not gathering enough information, improper motives, lack of prayer and godly counsel, and sometimes sheer stupidity. I have also not consulted Scripture and asked God for wisdom and discernment about a matter I was facing. I reacted with fear, little faith, and ended up not able to move ahead with clarity, confidence, and commitment to the course of action I chose.
I have known and worked with students who followed similar paths I have and learned the hard way that acts have consequences. Often the consequences are hard to deal with. Such as: 1) Cheating on an exam not once but three times, getting caught, and later expelled in your senior year; 2) You have been dating someone for a semester and feel pressured to have sex. You have sex before marriage, get a sexually transmitted disease, which almost kills the young man; 3) Nursing a bad attitude for weeks about a lower than expected grade on an assignment. Instead of listening to the professor’s admonition to study and work harder, the student stiffened his pride and argued that the professor was against him all along. The student became arrogant, stopped going to class, and no one wanted to be around him. Eventually, the student had to drop the class and start over.
How many times have we made choices and/or rushed into important decisions that looked pretty good, only to be sorry later on? I know it’s happened to all of us.
Read 1 Samuel 12:14-25.
One day the prophet Samuel gave out sage advice to the Israelites, all of which can help us today in making decisions about our attitudes and actions. Here are his words of wisdom from chapter 12. Fear the Lord (verse 14). Serve and obey Him with all your heart (v 14, 24). Reflect on what the Lord has done (v 24). Do not pursue idols (v 21).
If you are thinking about graduate school, getting married, or changing jobs, please consider what Samuel said. First, when making decisions, fear the Lord. Without the right view of God in your heart and mind, you will not make the right choice. Second, make sure your decision is about serving Him and His purposes, not just your own. Third, read His Word and see how others made wise decisions. Reflect on His ways and make sure your choices line up with His idea of flourishing. Last, make sure your decision is not based on idolatry, i.e., putting something or someone in the place of God.
Walk wisely. If you make choices without considering Samuel’s prudent advice, you will find yourself facing tougher circumstances that you expected. Wise people consider the implications of their decisions, intended ones as well as unintended.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz