Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Biblical Perspective of Decision-Making

Andrew Jackson provided an excellent point as far as decision-making is concerned: “When in charge, ponder. When in trouble, delegate. When in doubt, mumble. Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go on.” The value of utilizing biblical decision-making process in our time is evident in the lives of God-fearing people in the past and today. In Proverbs 1:33, security of life comes in acknowledging God: "But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil." It is in this level of partnership with God that creates self-confidence in making godly decisions: The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9). Most importantly, if we need help in making the right decision in any situation, God provides wisdom enthusiastically: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5).
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How do we go about attaining godly wisdom when making decisions? It begins by aligning ourselves with God’s ways: “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23). I find this statement from The Treasury of David very helpful, “Where God sanctifies the heart he enlightens the head.” What does this mean? The Pulpit Commentary clarified, “God shall make his way plain to the God-fearing man.” Moreover, somebody said, “Wisdom is merely seeing life from God’s perspective and responding accordingly.” I say, when we honor God in all of our dealings, every decision made emanates from a spiritual perspective anchored in our relationship with God.

How does biblical decision-making work? It seeks God’s says so when the Spirit of God is allowed access in our daily journey. Paul testified to this fact: And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them (Acts 16:7). In Abraham’s conflict with Lot, there was no fear in giving up his first choice because He knew God’s plan for his life (Genesis 12:1-3). It seems absurd to do so but logical in attaining a peaceful settlement:

So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. "Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left" (Genesis 13:8-9).

In leading others given to our care, listening to counsel is a decision marked by humility. During Jethro's visit, he saw how Moses fulfilled his leadership role and became burdened. He provided a valuable counsel in lessening his responsibility through proper delegation: So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens (Exodus 18:24-25).

Another area of our life needing biblical wisdom is maintaining a godly standard. In Daniel's time, he stood his ground in preserving God’s honor and received favor as a result:

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8).

Standing against the cultural norm also needs biblical wisdom. When the three Hebrew youth became confronted with worshipping a golden image, they held their ground and placed their faith and hope in God’s intervention: "But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up" (Daniel 3:18). They risked everything but God honored their decision and with an intervention of a mighty miracle. For every decision anchored on godly principles towards honoring God produces extraordinary results. Remember, godly wisdom outmaneuvers worldly wisdom.

Finally, when we acknowledge that God holds the key to life and death, our decision-making process changes dramatically. Remember, if Jesus followed God’s will in all of his decisions while living on earth, we are wise in pursuing the same lifestyle as well.

Let’s talk again!