Life is plagued with tough decisions. How to spend time, which restaurant to visit, which job to pursue, or which person to marry are small samplings of life’s various decisions. Because decisions carry consequences, people respond in different ways to decision making. Wanting to move on with life, some people impulsively make decisions with little deliberation. For others terrified of making a wrong decision, debilitation often accompanies long deliberation. Endless lists and irrational hypotheticals lead to fear, worry, and anxiety. Rather than making a wrong decision, these people often neglect making decisions at all. For most of us who struggle to make decisions, the question remains – how should Christians make decisions?
Tragically, many Christians first turn to personal preferences and desires rather than God’s guiding Word. God gave Scripture not just to describe who he is but to inform the Christian life in light of who he is. The Bible has always been the Christian’s “lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). The Bible both teaches the Gospel and sufficiently directs every decision in the Christian journey. For Christians struggling to glorify God in making decisions, Scripture gives four guiding truths for decision making.
First, honestly assess whether any part of the decision is sinful. Ask yourself whether the decision itself or one of the considerations is sinful. Choosing sin is never God’s will for the Christians since God always desires Christians to be more like Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Though a decision might not be one of morality, each Christian should honestly assess whether their heart motivation is for God’s glory or personal idolatry. “The sorrows [of idolatry] of those who have hastened for another god will be multiplied” (Psalm 16:4). Is there sin in your decision?
Secondly, examine whether God has renewed your mind. Rather than thinking like the world, Christians are to think as Christ thinks. Since Christians have been filled with the Holy Spirit in salvation, “we now have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Regularly studying Scripture molds Christians to become “transformed by the renewing of their mind” (Romans 12:2). Following the mind of Christ is not mysterious – its revealed to believers renewed by the Word of God. Are your thoughts reflecting Christ’s mind and values?
Thirdly, seek godly counsel. God never intended the Christian life to be lived alone, and decisions are no exception. Though the amount of counsel varies based upon the weight of the decision (what outfit to wear vs. which house to buy), the “wise man listens to counsel” (Proverbs 12:15). Scripture promises blessing through Godly counsel – “in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). Seeking counsel from godly Christians isn’t a sign of a weakness but a sign of humility. Serious Christians ask serious Christians for help. Scripture is clear, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Do you desire and seek out the wisdom of godly counsel?
Finally, confidently make decisions in Christian freedom. If sin isn’t involved, your desire is for godliness, and godly Christians affirm your reasoning, then freely accept either job offer without fear. Rather than agonize over a purchase, confidently buy for the glory of God. God blesses his children who honestly and genuinely serve him in their decisions. Rather than rashness, fear, or anxiety, rest in God’s guiding through your decision-making process. Do you experience Christian liberty through a clear conscience in making decisions? The same God who led you to salvation will generously lead you through every decision of life. James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”