Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
We make decisions all the time, but they should not be made haphazardly. Consider these six guidelines so that every decision you make is a wise one.
1. God's Word or the World's
You should honor God with every decision you make. Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek ye first." Therefore, start every decision by first finding out what God says about your situation before you attempt to get advice from the world.
Seeking God should always be your starting point for every decision you make. Let God be your ultimate authority. It comes down to one of two choices. Either you are going to make your decision based on God’s Word or on the ways of the world.
The Bible says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105 NIV). Let the word of God shine a light on the steps to all your decisions. Without that light, you will always stumble in the dark.
2. Keep Your Decisions From Being Hidden Secrets
This is not to say you should tell people about the decisions you make. However, test your decision by considering how you will feel if your decision was discovered.
- Will it bring shame on you or your family?
- Will it make you feel guilty if people found out?
- Do you live in fear that your decision is a bad one?
Those are red flags if you answered "Yes" to any one of them.
Proverbs 10:9 tells us:
“People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed” (NLT).
Make sure your private decisions are those you will be proud of instead of being ashamed, guilty, or afraid of people finding out about them.
3. Decisions Should Make You a Better Person
Many people don't usually think about it this way. However, every decision you make should make you a better person. It should improve your life in some way.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:23, "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” Therefore, we should always choose to make decisions that help us grow.
4. Make Decisions That Do Not Control You
Wise decisions do not control you or dominate your life, but bad ones might. There is a lot of freedom attached to wise and godly decisions. Know that every good idea is not a God idea. No matter how much you enjoy something, it’s always a bad decision if you let it control and dominate you.
“Even though I am allowed to do anything,’I must not become a slave to anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).
God doesn’t want you to become a slave to anything or anybody. When you are dominated by something, it becomes your god. Remember, God said in the very first commandment, "Thy shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3).
5. Good and Bad Decisions Affect Others
Every decision you make affects not only you, but it affects others as well. A wise decision will not harm anyone. Instead, a wise decision will help someone. God is pleased when we put others first.
Surely, you don't want to be hurt by the decisions you make, and you should not want others to be hurt by your decisions.
Romans 14:13 says:
“Let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.”
Every decision you make affects other people. When you make a bad decision, it affects others just as it does when you make a good decision.
6. Live According to Your Calling
You can make better decisions when you live according to your calling. Your calling will always be at the forefront of everything you do, including making wise decisions.
"Make your calling and your election sure. Therefore, brothers, rather be diligent to make sure of your calling and election; for doing these things, you will not ever fall" (2 Peter 1:10).
It is so important for you to understand your calling. When you do understand what your purpose is, then you are on the right track to making good decisions. Then all your decisions will be directly or indirectly related to your calling.
Paul has something great to say about being wise.
“Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Keep these verses in mind when you attempt to make a decision. Believe it or not, your decisions determine your destiny. Make sure they are wise one that aligns with what God wants you to do.
If you keep the above guidelines in mind, you are sure to make wise decisions. Just remember to:
- Let God be your ultimate authority. Let your decision line up with what God says instead of what the world says.
- Think about how you will feel if people found out about your decision. Do nothing that will make you feel ashamed, guilty, or afraid.
- Let every decision you make also make you a better person. Let your decision improve you and your lifestyle.
- Do not make a decision that will control or dominate you. You know you have made the right decision when you feel a sense of independence.
- Keep in mind that every decision you make affects not only you, but they will affect others as well.
- Every decision you make should be related to your calling and election.