The Season of Decision-Making Matthew Clifton-Brown
God cares about the decisions we make and wants us to honour Him in these choices. He graciously gives us examples to learn from and principles to apply in order to make good decisions.
The Bible doesn't give us a specific answer for every decision we have to make, but instead examples of decisions being made which we can learn from.
1 Samuel 24:1-7 highlights the contrast between Saul and his decisions, and David and his decisions.
Biblical principles for making decisions:
1. Fear God
Knowing that your future is in God's hands should diffuse the paranoia we sometimes experience when faced when big decisions.
2. Listen to your conscience
A healthy conscience is a gift from God - it keeps us sensitive to what we know is true and good. We train our conscience by reading the Bible and learning to make right choices.
3. Honour others
God firstly, and those God has appointed - even when it's someone as bad as Saul. This is part of what it means to love God and our neighbour - the greatest commandments, Jesus says (Matthew 22:36-40).
Putting rocks in your bucket:
- A lot of decision-making is about choosing what comes first.
- There are some things that can only fit into our lives if they come first - and those things can be life-shaping.
- Not only will they affect the direction we take, they will affect our character.
How do you make decisions?
- Impetuous. Sudden, get on with it. Risk is that we leave others stranded with the consequences of our choices and lose credibility as a leader.
- External professor. Likes to throw around the issue with others, possibly arguing several different perspective during the discussion in order to realise which one they prefer. The others need to not take what you say too seriously.
- Internal processor. Needs time to think, often by themselves with research and other conversations but then will bring a very settled decision to the team.
- Indecisive. Never making a decision because they're so riddled with fear and consequence. God sets things up for you but you don't take hold of them. Need to learn to be strong and courageous, ask God for boldness.
5 change-points when climbing
- Climbers have five things keeping them attached to what they're climbing: two hands, two legs, rope. Changing lots of them at once is risky!
- When facing significant change in one area, don't take on lots of other changes in other areas.
- 5 areas: emotional change, church, work, relationships, home.
Practical tips for making decisions:
- Define it as best you can. Be really clear on what is being decided.
- Make a list of positives and negatives.
- Seek godly counsel.
- Don't get paralysed by indecision, do something!
- Which of the tips Matt gave did you consider most helpful for making decisions?
- What are the big rocks in your bucket, honestly?
- Which of the four types of decision-maker Matt listed are you?