Choices

Have you ever thought about how many choices you make in a day? I don’t know the answer to that question; but, in general, it’s a lot – a whole lot.

Some of the choices we face seem insignificant; so simple we aren’t actually aware that we have a choice, or that we even made a choice. We simply do what intuitively seems best at that moment. Other times, we not only know we have a big decision to make, we may worry about it morning, noon and night. We study it, and try to foresee all possible outcomes. We may discuss it with a friend, or someone who has made the same or similar decision. We worry and fret; and sometimes fear. It is these decisions that can; and very often do, distract us from our work, our friends, our families, …and God.

Decisions are ever present in our lives. Some are BIG, and some are small. And, ALL of them have consequences?! Not making a decision is a decision, and will have it’s own set of consequences. Consequences can be good or bad. And, even a “good” decision can sometimes go wrong; or, a “bad” decision turn to our advantage.

Here are the guidelines I try to use when making decisions.

  • Our initial decision should be: get alone with Jesus! After all, Jesus already knows the outcome – whatever, it’s going to be. Never-the-less, lay out the problem and ask for guidance. Thank Him in advance. And then, watch and listen for His guidance.
  • Keep Jesus informed of what’s happening and what you’re doing. Yes, He sees our efforts; but, He loves hearing the updates directly from us.
  • Things are seldom as time sensitive as we think they are; or, as they are made-out to be. If you are being pushed for an immediate decision, red flags should go up. Ask yourself, “whose interest is being most served by this “need for speed”? Very often, if not most often, the answer is, “Not mine”.
  • Collect all the pertinent information. If others have a stake in the outcome, involve them to the appropriate extent. If it involves your spouse, it is all but definitely appropriate. (That is a hard learned lesson!) And, everything is appropriate to share with Jesus. Remember He wants to be involved in every facet of our life.
  • God does not work through worry or fear. If that’s what we’re feeling (usually in the middle of the night, when we’re vulnerable) break the connection Satan has established, and call Jesus to your side.
  • Jesus is a great respecter of free-will. He will step-back and allow us to go off on our own. That’s why me must constantly talk to Him. And, if things still don’t turn out the way we wanted or expected, it’s time for us to take a step back and think about what lesson(s) Jesus made available.
  • Give God glory for the outcome, …REGARDLESS of the outcome. (This is critical. So don’t forget it.) Whatever the outcome, we have been given a gift from our Savior. Praise Him for that gift, or those gifts. If they don’t seem apparent at first, keep looking because you’re missing something.

I have never been disappointed when I used this system. Even when I didn’t get the results I expected or wanted. And several times I couldn’t see the “good” in a result until many years later. (I keep thinking of Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers”. Hey Garth, He answered it with, “…I have a better idea.” You just didn’t recognize the answer, …at the time.)

Jesus, …If I’ve learned nothing else in my life, I have learned that this system will work. And, the more I use it, the better it works. (I measure “better” by how often I have to take that step back and start looking for the lesson(s)). But your lessons also help me, so please don’t hear this as criticism. I love you Lord because you first loved me. I’ve given you many reasons not love me; but, instead of turning your back, you just turn up your love. Thank you for that. And thank you for every gift you have ever given me. Help me to radiate your love to others. Amen,

…Larry

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