Unrest, stress, and turmoil are the frequent companions of decisions. As you wrestle with making a choice, the uncertainty can flood you with anxiety; and, once the decision is made, you can grow nervous as you contemplate the potential consequences.
Deciding what is right or wrong, and what is the best course of action can be perplexing. Even the Apostle Paul prayed that the Philippians would “abound in knowledge and every kind of insight,” so they could decide “what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10).”
The next time you need to make an important decision, here’s a checklist of 4 insightful questions to help steer you in the right direction:
- Helpful or Harmful: Will the results of my decision be a benefit to me and others or a detriment?
- Embarrassment Factor: If the consequences of my decision became front page news and trended on social media, would my parents be embarrassed?
- Here and Now or There and Then: Are you basing your decision on the intense but temporary pain of the here and now, or are you considering the long-term consequences of the future (there and then)?
- Consistent: Will the results of this decision be consistent with Biblical principles?
I suggest that you look at the checklist again. As you read it a second time, think about the long-lasting power of your decisions that are seen in your words and deeds: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Colossians 3:17).”
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday—what was your focus over the past 72 hours? What does your focus say about the real you? The 5 questions below may help you answer this question:
- What did you find to be funny?
- On what did you spend your money?
- What is it that you were wanting the most?
- What thought was the frequent focus of your mind?
- What did you do with your leisure time and with whom did you spend it?
After thinking about the questions above, compare your answers to the lifestyle that Paul spoke of in Romans 12:
Let love be without hypocrisy. Hate what is evil. Cleave to what is good. Be devoted to one another with brotherly love; prefer one another in honor, do not be lazy in diligence, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord, rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Do not pretend to be wiser than you are.
Repay no one evil for evil. Commend what is honest in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
When you compare your answers to the qualities Paul discussed, is the real you a “doer” of the word or just a “hearer” of the world?
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man viewing his natural face in a mirror. He views himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.