Mark Beaird | Books

Decisions, Decisions

On the subject of making decisions, Yogi Berra is reported to have said, "When you come to a fork in the road... take it." It would appear that many people have taken Yogi's muddled advice and are mired down once again in their indecision. If life's decisions were just a little easier or if the right answers were just a little clearer, we would all have an easier time with the decisions that we face. But it is not always easy to know what to do or what to choose.

As a pastor I would love to be able to give people "three easy steps to always making the right decision," but I cannot. Decision making is just not that simple in all situations. But perhaps the most troubling problem that I see among people in general is not just that they are having difficulty making decisions, it is that many do not seem to be learning from their previous bad decisions. It would appear that many just repeat their former bad decisions in a continuing cycle - without realizing that if they continue to do what they have always done they will continue to get what they have always gotten. Someone has called that "the definition of insanity."

Of course I am not saying that if we make the same mistake more than twice we are insane. But would you not agree that it is a bit foolish to continue the same decision making pattern when we can see that we are likely to get the same results every time?

There is a simple law at work here - like the natural law of gravity - called the law of sowing and reaping. This is more of a "life" law or a "spiritual" law. A very simple way of explaining it is to say that our decisions have an impact on our lives - whether for good or for bad.

The Apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament book of Galatians in chapter 6, verses 7-9 "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." NIV

Paul is trying to help us to see much more than just "sin" is wrong. He also wants us to understand that we must not allow ourselves to be driven by our natural desires, human weaknesses, and instant satisfaction. Good decisions often take more time, call for us to defer instant satisfaction, and to refrain from just accepting the first solution that comes our way. Perhaps that is why he ends with, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." It takes discipline to hold to the proper course of life. We must be sold out to doing what is truly right - not just what feels right at the moment. Then we must be willing to wait for those good decisions to pay dividends into our lives.

So, when facing life's decisions, pray for guidance. Gather all pertinent information about the decision. Seek godly and wise counsel from people whose life demonstrates that they know how to make good decisions. Look for solutions that respect your worth and dignity as a person, your well-being and that of those you love and that honor God. Finally, take your time before making the decision and take time after the decision to allow the wheels you have set in motion to move you to where you want to be in your life. In time you will see that the seeds planted by wise decisions will produce a good and abundant harvest in your life.      A Westminster Edition website by Donnie Fischer.