Decisions Matter to Your Future in God
I love eating out. Visiting new restaurants, checking out new places, enjoying the atmosphere are all things that make me happy.
One of the best parts of eating out is undoubtedly the moment the menus arrive. We get to fully survey the range of wonder that comes from the kitchen. Now this is the point where decisions are needing to be made.
- Are you a quick decision-making on what you’ll have to eat?
- Maybe you someone who takes their time before deciding?
- Or are you the flip-flopper, who decides, then un-decides, then decides again and keeps doing that until the wait staff are standing at your shoulder??
For me, it’s all part of the fun of eating out, but it does spotlight how decision making is a part of everyday life. Whether it is deciding what shirt wear out or something more significant like whether to move cities or not, decision making matters!
What is God’s Plan for My Life?
In my time in pastoral ministry people would offer ask me questions like how do I know God’s will for my life? What they were really asking was how do I make wise decisions that will take me forward with God?
I think every believer wants to move forward with God, as opposed to working against Him. Be that in marriage, in your career choices, in your major life decisions, in your ministry. God has good plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11), how do I discover them? I believe the ability to make wise, godly decisions is where it begins.
We Have Freedom to Decide
Decision-making can be very complex. For weightier decisions there are often so many factors involved. But the Apostle Paul here gives what I believe is three very helpful, very useful principles that can guide through a range of different, important decisions we will have to make.
1 Corinthians Chapter 10:23-24,31-33 says:
23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
…31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
In Christ we have freedom (Galatians 5:1). There are certain matters that are prohibited for the believer in His Word. There will be times that God very clearly gives us direction on what we should do, in accordance with His will. But beyond that, the Father gives us freedom to decide.
That is why the Apostle Paul poses these questions to us. What you decide might be lawful, but is it profitable? It might be allowable, but will your decision result in your life being built up? I believe, what He is pointing to here is there is a major difference between an allowable decision and a WISE decision.
A wise decision will pay off for you, your loved ones and your future for years to come. A poor decision will cost you, both now and into the future.
We have freedom in Christ on how we spend our time, how we use our finances, who we spend time with, what media we consume, what goals we pursue, who we vote for and a million other things. We are allowed to choose, but will be choose wisely?
Three Questions to Ask In Making a Decision
So back to our text. How do I make wise decisions? How do I know if I my decision is wise or not?
When it comes to making a wise decision, ask yourself these three questions:
1. Does it Seek the Good of Others?
1 Corinthians 10:24: “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”
The world we live in has an unstated value and that is ‘do whatever is good for you’. This is the guiding principles for countless millions who rationalise their decision-making on this basis. Unfortunately, it is contrary to the values of the kingdom of God.
Jesus taught us that our first concern should be for others rather than ourselves (Matthew 7:12). That is why we are told here, in making our decisions, to first consider the well-being and benefit of others over ourselves.
We would live in a far better world if this was the value we lived by. If you want to be wise, begin by preferring others.
2. Does it Bring Glory to God?
1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
In Christ we have freedom in so many areas of life. Thank God we live under a covenant that says our righteousness is found in what Christ has done, rather than what you and I can do. However, in spite of that we need to be aware that this truth does not absolve us from the responsibility or the consequences of our actions.
With this in mind, we need to ask ourselves is my attitude about exalting God or exalting myself? Does this action reflect well on me or well on my Lord? Will people say ‘So that is what a Christian looks like’ or will they say ‘and S/he calls her/himself a Christian’.
3. Does it Lead to People Coming to Know God?
1 Corinthians 10:33: “I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”
Ultimately, God cares that people come to know Him above all else. We have freedom to live as we see fit according to the revealed will of God, but this is an important consideration in a wise life.
Is the message my life preaching the truth of God’s love and redemption? Am I declaring by my life the supremacy of Christ and His saving power, that others too might see the gospel as good news?
QUESTION: What Decisions do You Find Hard to Make? Leave a comment and let us know!