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The Five Guidelines for Decision-Making
The first and most foundational guideline for decision-making would be prayer. Prayer is that communion with God and the fountain of communication. It is in prayer that we can humbly come before Him, trusting that He will listen to us and knowing that He will help us. When we pray earnestly seeking His will and not simply our own, His direction is made known to us through the Holy Spirit. We hear of the Holy Spirit being that still small voice. I believe that His Spirit is evident with a response when we take time to share our need with God but also to quietly and intently listen for what He says in return. He may not answer us on our regimented time frame but He will answer. I John 5:15 tells us that He does hear us.
This is where we take an account of ourselves and our situation. What are we bringing to the situation? What are we hoping for? This is where we list our pros and cons but more importantly the real reasons and motives when making a decision. This requires discovery about ourselves our motives and our intentions. Do they line up with God’s? This is where we have to be blatantly honest with ourselves from our mindset and desires to our ability and desire for certain outcomes. It’s about examining the heart. Galatians 6:4 speaks of looking at ourselves.
Purpose creates possibilities. Purpose is what makes a decision worthwhile. We have to define our purpose. Knowing our purpose makes our ability to be passionate and follow through easier.
When we have to make a decision it is important that we seek a Godly perspective of it. We have to examine our own perspectives as in my second point. We also have to consider the perspective of others and the impact our decision will have on others whether that be positive or negative. When considering perspective this can give you a well-rounded bird’s eye view of how the decision will impact any number of people. This can be from our spouse to company shareholders. Aside from bringing our perspective in the decision- making process this point is primarily directed to the need to consider others even above yourself as Philippians 2:3 tells us.
This is the final element and the hopeful outcome of any decision that has to be made. Peace. Philippians 4: 7: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (ESV). The Merriam- Webster defines the word surpass as “To transcend the reach, capacity, or powers of’. Peace is not a principle to work at or for, but rather the result of dedicated prayer, personal examination, purpose and godly perspective. Many people refer to a sense of knowing or a sense of peace that offers an internal check to the individual. It’s the peace of God I am praying for when I am undecided about something. Peace is the final result of a good decision even if it is a hard one.