Guidelines For Decisions
As we pass along the pathway of life, we encounter a never-ending chain of challenges and changes with each link in the chain requiring a decision. The results of our decisions equate to the links in our chain of life, with our good decisions being our strongest links and our bad decisions being our weakest links. Our good decisions equate to positive results but a bad decision, often made without thinking and in haste, can have a devastating effect for the rest of our lives, for ourselves as well as for those around us. There are many words and methodologies to help in making decisions, so I will share a few words that are helpful to me.
by Rev. Patrick Conner, Ph.D.
Presented by Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies
Let me give you a few words and a quick acronym to help you "WHHIRR" through a decision. This list of six words will help us all if we will slow down long enough to apply them in making future decisions. They are as follows:
Proverbs 2: 5 - 11
5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
When we apply wisdom to our decisions, we must ask ourselves if the decisions we make will be in harmony with the wisdom of the Bible and consistent with Bible based principles. In other words, will they be based on the Word of God, or the ways of the world? When you begin to worry about what other people will think about your decision that could be a clue that it may be a worldly decision.
Proverbs 22: 4
4By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Perhaps you have heard the comment ďbe humble but donít stumbleĒ. Make your decisions directly confronting the issue asking for guidance in your decision. Ask for a light on your pathway.
Psalm 119: 105
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Through humility you will be able to accept the wisdom and guidance you will receive.
Philippians 4: 8
8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Be honest with yourself in asking if your decision is from God or from the world.
Psalm 26: 1
1Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
14I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
As the saying goes, "thus, unto thine ownself be true," you must maintain your own integrity. As you ask yourself if this decision will comply with Biblical principles, you must also ask yourself whether or not you can follow your decision with a clear conscience. If it feels wrong for you it is wrong. A good rule to apply is: when in doubt, donít do it.
Psalm 119: 6
6Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
A deep respect for the Word of God as well as for yourself and those your decision will affect is also essential in making good decisions.
Finally, the big one. You are individually, personally, and exclusively responsible for the decisions you make. Will it make you a better person? Is it permissible but not beneficial?
1 Corinthians 10:23
23All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
Is it what is good for you or what is best for you? There is often a major difference. Will the results of your decision allow something to dominate you? Is it addictive?
1 Corinthians 6:12
12All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Addictions can go beyond drugs and alcohol. People become workaholics, addicted to money, television, sports, exercise, and the Internet. Doctors now contend that there are more than 2000 potential addictions.
You are responsible for deciding if this is the best investment of your time and resources.
Will your decision harm another?
Romans 14: 12 - 15
2So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brotherís way. 14I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
1We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
As you ask yourself if this decision is what is best for my life, is it what God wants, you progress to: can I live with my conscience over this decision and finally, can I live with the consequences of this decision?
Looking at our chain of decisions we cannot change the past. However we can apply wisdom, humility, honesty, integrity, respect, and responsibility as we make decisions in the future.
copyright 2000 Rev. Patrick Conner, Ph.D.
Used by permission.