Life is filled with choices. Everyday, from start to finish, you’re choosing. It’s one of your main activities. Consciously and unconsciously, your heart and mind are constantly sorting through options, coming to conclusions, and making choices. Some decisions are simple and inconsequential–a blue shirt today, a tan shirt tomorrow–no big deal.
Other choices matter a lot. It never ceases to amaze me how carelessly and unwisely some folks go about their decision-making processes. A feeling, a conversation with someone, an impulse, a frustration, a restlessness, an exciting thought, an attraction to someone or something, a presumed “word from God,”–I’ve heard all of these as reasons for major life decisions that, in reality were not always well-considered, well-advised or properly guided.
One of the ways the devil detours and sometimes derails people is by toying with their decisions. Our spiritual enemy understands something we need to better understand. The truth is, one unwise decision can result in a lot of wasted time, treasure and talents, and on some occasions, significant heartache and unnecessary pain. Our unwise choices not only impact us, they usually impact others also.
The Bible reminds us of the importance of being careful and wise with our life choices:
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. — Ephesians 5:15-17 (NLT)
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. — Ephesians 5:15-17 (Msg)
When making important decisions, here’s some good advice, Be WISE:
W = Want God’s will above all. Realize that God’s desire for you may be different from what you want for yourself. His will is what’s best. Happiness and fulfillment are not found in you getting your will, but in surrendering your will to His. Genuinely want what God wants for your life!
I = Inquire. Ask God for wisdom. Ask mature, wise, godly people for guidance and advice. Ask yourself tough questions about what’s driving and motivating you. Inquire with an open heart and mind, rather than with your decision already made. Remember, your own heart and feelings will deceive you. Ask honestly and humbly, putting your emotions aside. God answers honest, humble people who sincerely seek His wisdom and will.
S = Slow down. Wait for true confirmations. Don’t act without them. Don’t invent your own confirmations. Don’t simply look for signs that affirm what you want to do. When you do this you’re the loser for it. Want true confirmation, even if it’s different from what you may want the answer to be. Give God time to show you His will. Look for His fingerprints, listen for His whisperings and heed the wise counsel He provides you.
E = Engage your present duties and responsibilities. Remember, the grass always looks greener with someone else, somewhere else, doing something else. Your emotions can, and likely will paint romantic, fantastical images of some imagined change you’re considering. The truth is, whoever you are now, where you are now, is what you’ll be anywhere with anyone. A change of circumstances never changes a person’s character. Be engaged and faithful with what God has given you today. God guides the faithful!
Even with the best of intentions and efforts, at times you’re still going to miss the mark in your decisions. What do you do when this happens? Admit it! Don’t justify or rationalize an unwise or bad decision, own it. Do what you can to fix it. Learn from it and move forward, asking God to redeem it. When you live this way you’ll experience God’s grace in your failure. You’ll also gain greater wisdom for your future!
Got decisions to make? Be WISE!