Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Making Decisions the Christian Way

Have you ever played the Game of Life?  You go through the game, spin your turn, and land wherever you land.  The game decides when you get married, have kids, retire.  There are a couple choices in the game, like if you want to go to college or straight to your career, but mostly, the game determines everything.  

Real life is not that way.  Every second of everyday you have a choice.  A choice whether you want to keep working on that homework, or obey your mom when she asks you to wash the dishes.  You have to make a choice on what to say to your friends and family.  There are the small decisions we have to make, and there are the big decisions in life, too.  Life is not like the game of life.  We don't spin the answer to our decision.  Are you overwhelmed already?  I am.  That's why I can't do this by myself.  I need God.  The problem is, it is really hard to know what his will is.  How can we be sure that this isn't our own little voice inside our heads?

In my Bible study this week, called Simple Surrender (amazing, by the way), I was learning about making godly decisions.  Finding God's plan in the choices I make everyday.  There are five questions we should ask ourselves (and God) before making a decision.

1. Have I asked God for wisdom and guidance about this decision?  Wisdom.  That's something I need.  Not much life experience makes it even more difficult.  God is there.  James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."  Just ask him.  He will give you the wisdom you need to make the right choice.  Also, you have parents.  They have lived much longer than you and made more decisions than you.

2. Have I prayed about this?  Have I spent time actively reading God's word and seeking his counsel?  There are Bible verses for any situation.  When you are making a decision, search online for verses on the topic.  Read them.  Meditate on them.  Pray about it.  Have your parents pray with you.  The answer may not come right away, but it will come in God's timing.

3. Does this decision bring me closer to Christ or further away?  Sometimes this is clear.  Other times, not so much.  If you are deciding whether you should go on a mission trip, this is obviously going to bring you closer to God.  But, choosing between homeschooling and public school is a little less clear.  Just pray.  Pray.  Pray.

4. Am I only seeking advice from people who will tell me what I want to hear?  Or am I trusting the counsel of more mature Christians who will tell me the truth?  Following Christ isn't easy.  You will be forced out of your comfort zone and into difficult situations.  But none of it will not be God's will.  It is all his plan, preparing you for the future.  Often, we want to seek advice from people who tell us that a certain thing is a bad idea because we don't want to do it.  God is going to put you into the fire, but good will come out of it.  Trust him.  (Easier said then done.)

5. Am I making this decision based solely on my emotions at the moment or a desire to be obedient to Christ?  This is a tough one.  The best advice I can give you is to lean on God.  He will help you through it.

Think about these things the next time you make an important decision.  Take the time necessary to pray, consult mature Christians, look things up in the Bible, and ask God for wisdom.  It will help you tremendously.

Until next time,
- Mickayla