Biblical Decision Making
As Christians, our main concern isn’t how to make ourselves happy because happiness isn’t the end all be all. Our purpose is the glorification of God. Having that be the main purpose of our decision-making seems like a simple concept, but in reality, a lot can obscure this.
Personal wants and desires, other’s wishes and opinions, and what the world pushes toward us can start to make our hearts more focused on ourselves than on the one who made us.
Decisions are difficult. There are little ones that seem insignificant but add up to bigger events in our life. Then, there’s the ones that we stress over. The big ones we know can shift the course of our lives. What job to take, what relationships to pursue, where to live, and even more.
All decision making, and their processes, show a lot about our hearts toward the Lord. So how do we make decisions?
1. We need to know what the Bible says about it
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
The Word has authority. It is our guidance, our way to learn God’s expectations, and is the Law. It’s from God himself, so it can be trusted to show us the path to take.
2. What are your intentions
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
What is the desire of our heart? The Lord’s glorification and kingdom being expanded or momentary happiness and benefits? We can’t serve both (Matthew 6:24). We must choose and be honest with our intentions and the position of our hearts.
3. What does your Biblical counsel say
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:20-21
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Our friends in Christ are also in a relationship with Him. They hear Him and they intervene for us by praying for us. When our emotions or other intentions lead us to get confused, those around us can listen to Him without those barriers. They are here to uplift and encourage us, hold us accountable and lead us to the Lord.
4. What past experiences can I draw from
“Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” Proverbs 26:11
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
The Lord lets us get tested to learn lessons. These past experiences are formed by decisions, good and bad. These lessons are meant to help us with our next decisions. The Lord is sweet to us by letting us have these experiences and lessons.
5. What option will help glorify God and expand the kingdom most
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
“But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you.” Acts 26:16
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Again, our purpose is to glorify God and to expand His kingdom. Whenever everyone hears the gospel, Jesus is coming back. Our lives are spent waiting patiently and expectantly on His return. Therefore, helping this along will bring Him back! Our purpose is also to spread the gospel. How do we show them the gospel is worth living for if we aren’t living for it?
At the end of the day, you can glorify the Lord in any setting. I’m sure in heaven he won’t berate you for not being in ministry or being a doctor or a lawyer or a nurse or a teacher. He doesn’t care about our salaries, positions, or statuses. But He does care about our hearts.
How we make decisions and what these decisions are can impact the kingdom. Our lives are the outward appearance of Jesus and they are how others can see what Christ actually is like.
This is a heavy responsibility. Not one we take in alone, but how we live matters. Yes, there is grace. But we are naïve to think that our lives surrendered to God are just about us and God. It’s about all of us, the world, spreading the kingdom. We are saying to God, “Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)
If we aren’t actually interested in this responsibility, it’s probably because we aren’t actually interested in a relationship or a commitment to God, but more so we are interested in what He can give us. It’s time to examine our hearts and our intentions in our decisions. Are we truly living for God, or are we living for our best opportunity to praise ourselves and gain momentary happiness or titles?
God is worthy of our lives and worthy of our dedication when it comes to decisions. His Will is stone and it can’t be messed up, so we don’t live in fear of making the wrong decision. Rather, we delight in the opportunity to use every part of our lives as a way to exalt Him. He loves you. He wants you to feel the freedom that comes from being His child. In response to His unconditional love, we give Him our lives, our trust, our decisions. We give Him everything.