This post might frustrate you because I’m not going to offer much in terms of definitive advice for the choice you may face.
Each person’s big decision is their own to make and the variables, as far as outcome, are vast. Today, however, I can offer more questions to ask yourself before making a big decision. But first, we must define big decisions…
Which shirt to where for an event this weekend, or which dish to order from a menu with ten pages does not constitute a big decision, but this is where people get tripped up. We waste so much energy hemming and hawing over chicken or fish that we lose the bandwidth for making solid, wise, well thought out decisions in the things that matter.
Big decisions fall under categories such as: Should we move? Is this the guy I’m supposed to marry? What should my major be in college? Do I make a career move at age fifty, or do I stay rooted in my job of twenty-five years?
We cannot approach the chicken or fish decisions with the following questions, or we would curl up in exhaustion. Many people do make this mistake, however, and become too tired to focus on the important stuff. We are wise to place the majority of our energy toward big decisions, and their potential outcome, because they will affect our future.
Have you thought long term about a big decision you face? That is the first step-project your potential decision into the future. Where will this decision take me in the long run? Is this really where I want to go? There are so many directions I could take you, just in the broad topic of what we’re discussing here, but for today, let’s have a look at some things you may not have considered while looking at the decision. My hope is that I can generate an alternative thought pattern to assist you.
Following are ten (maybe unconventional) questions to ask yourself while wrestling with a big decisions:
- Have I sought wise counsel from others as I consider this choice? Proverbs 15:22: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.”
- Is there an area within this decision where I need to trust God more? Matthew 9:28: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
- Is my focus too far out into the future that I’m failing to maximize the present? Matthew 6:34: “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
- Am I considering a choice that’s actually more a temptation than a God-directed decision? Matthew 26:41: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- Am I about to make a choice that is more about someone else than my long term goals? Matthew 7:6: “Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
- What am I afraid of? Matthew 8:26: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
- Will this decision add an unnecessary burden that God is not asking me to carry? Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
- Can I look to someone else in my life who successfully made a similar choice, and can, therefore, offer an example for me to follow? Matthew 15:14: “If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
- Is the motive behind this decision self seeking, or does it lead me to more opportunities to serve others? Matthew 23:11-12: “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
- Do I need to deal with a personal struggle I’ve been avoiding, before I consider another big decision? Matthew 7: 3-5: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?…First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly…”