Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Right and Wrong Decisions

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Romans 8:26-28, NIV

I recently found myself in a familiar conversation with a friend: my friend was concerned about (and possibly second-guessing?) some major choices she had just made. Were they the "right" choices? Would she be okay?

I've had this conversation with myself so many times: how do I know if I am making the "right" decision? Will it all blow up in my face? Will I regret it?

As Christians, we seek God first when making decisions -- hopefully the minor decisions as well as the major ones. We certainly know when something is against His will if it is confirmed in the Scriptures. However, we often find ourselves in a dilemma, for most of our modern-day decisions are not outlined in the Bible. Decisions like, "Should we re-locate?" "Should I take this job?" "Should I start graduate school?" "Should I stop graduate school?" "Should we buy a house?" aren't explicitly outlined in the Bible.

I rejoice when I receive a clear answer from the Lord. God spoke clearly to me in regards to quitting acting graduate school, marriage, and trusting in Him. I have heard His voice with regards to these decisions, among others. But sometimes, the answers aren't so clear. How do we make a "right" decision when we feel we receive no direct guidance from the Lord?

There are the practical ways: speaking to friends, seeking counsel from parents and older friends, checking finances, and evaluating multiple situations. But, in the end, a decision must be made. And then, we are haunted by the ever-looming question...

How do I know this was the "right" or "wrong" decision?

It's hard to know when we're doing the "right" things or making the "right decisions," but the reality is that God uses every situation for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Friends, I have made decisions in my life that weren't exactly the "right" decisions -- some were blatantly the wrong ones and against God's will -- but God is redeeming even my worst decisions. We can rest knowing that no matter what, God is using our decisions as a part of His story, and as a part of our own refining process.

He'll use it, we'll grow, and He will be glorified.

4 comments:

  1. I guess this is why we are to test the spirits to wonder what is right and wrong, but at the same time so often our heart comes in the way of what we want that it is hard to really know if it is right. The heart is deceitful above all!!! and that is why this makes it rougher.

    I am so glad that we are in the heads of a refiner!

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  2. Great point, Victoria. I hope I didn't make it sound like we should just follow our hearts. God definitely gives us great guides through his word and other believers (I try to wait for confirmation from both when making a big decision), and everything should be first addressed in prayer.

    Also, James 4:17 says, "Anyone who knows the right thing and fails to do it, for him it is a sin." We should heed those words and take them seriously. I wasn't at all trying to excuse choices we make, because if God tells us, we need to listen. I've definitely been guilty of not "doing the right thing" even after God tells me.

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  3. that verse is so good. thanks for sharing it with me.

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  4. Great point, Victoria. I hope I didn't make it sound like we should just follow our hearts. God definitely gives us great guides through his word and other believers (I try to wait for confirmation from both when making a big decision), and everything should be first addressed in prayer.

    Also, James 4:17 says, "Anyone who knows the right thing and fails to do it, for him it is a sin." We should heed those words and take them seriously. I wasn't at all trying to excuse choices we make, because if God tells us, we need to listen. I've definitely been guilty of not "doing the right thing" even after God tells me.

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