What Would Christ Decide?
by Pastor Scott
What Would Christ Decide?
Have you ever thought to yourself, for such a small decision, it sure seems to have affected a lot of things?
I know at times in my life I’ve made some decisions that didn’t seem like such a big deal at the time. But then later on down the road I discovered that the decision had bigger ramifications than I would have thought—both for me and for the people around me. We all have decisions to make. It’s part of living in free society. If some type of authority or government isn’t making the decision for you, then we’re the ones that have to decide. At this moment in history, whether we’re a business owner, salesclerk, pedestrian or just an innocent bystander, we’re all making decisions that could affect others.
Some decisions we make will shape the rest of our lives. Decisions like what school we’ll attend, our career or where we work, who we’ll marry and even the friends we choose. Big or small, decisions shape our lives. I’ve learned a lot about decisionmaking through my life, mostly from making poor ones. But I did find a list of ten steps for decision-making, compiled by Dr. Norman Peale, which I will paraphrase here as I feel it is all sound advice.
Dr. Peale begins with keeping a quiet mind which allows you to think about the decisions to be made. So often we make decisions in a split second. I can tell you that not taking the time to make a wise decision is not in your best interests. Taking time to sit down in a quiet place and to compose yourself, is only going to help in the end. Making a decision when you are feeling pressured usually leads to regret.
Number two is to find a favorite Bible verse to repeat to yourself and meditate on. Dr. Peale suggests Psalm 73:24 that says, “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.” With God’s counsel and advice, how can anyone go wrong?
The third on the list is to pray about the decision. Really dig deep into the thoughts God is giving you; he may be leading you in a certain direction. Listen for His voice. And if the decision doesn’t have to be made immediately, wait a week or so. Charles Stanley once said that God isn’t impatient, that is our issue.
Number four and five fit together. Number four advises to invite Jesus into the conversation. Philippians 2:5 says three times, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Ask God to remove any wrong, sinful error or bad motivation from your heart. And then Dr. Peale adds his next suggestion which is to ask yourself, “What would Jesus do in this decision?” Just like years ago when everyone was wearing the bracelets that had the WWJD on them, What Would Jesus Do.
Number six is to take your time. In our culture, it seems as though everyone is always in a hurry. One good outcome from the Stay at Home order is that everyone seems to have slowed down a bit. But especially when it comes to making decisions, we need to allow our matters to simmer and not rush into a decision, especially when it could change our lives. Throughout our marriage, Karen and I have had a rule that if we see something that we would like to buy but it costs more than $100, we have to sleep on it before making that purchase. We have lost out on some sales items because of that rule, but we’ve never regretted waiting.
Numbers seven and eight on his list seem to tie together. First is to thank God and next comes to pray hard and think hard. We always need to thank God for all He’s done for us and I believe that is primarily through prayer (and of course repentance). And then, when it’s time to make that decision, pray “Lord, show me the next thing to do” and then use the intelligence and knowledge God has given you to make a sound decision.
Nine is to trust the answer God is giving you, even if it doesn’t line up with your desires and may make you feel like you are making a sacrifice. And finally, ten is to remind yourself that God loves you and wants what is best for you. This will help you keep your decisions, big and small, in perspective.
During this time of Covid 19, we have a great opportunity for personal growth. When we choose to examine our lives with courage and seek God’s truth and grace, we will grow as people and as followers of Christ, who will help us become a better, caring and loving person.
In Jesus’ name,
February 17, 2021
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