In the 1984 movie The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel the martial arts. During the very unorthodox sessions he also instructed him in valuable life lessons. In one scene he addressed the danger of indecision. He said, "Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later… you get squish just like grape." Not a bad image to impress on the mind of a young man who had been bullied by the well-trained members of the Cobra Kai dojo. Indecisiveness is like being squished.
Who hasn't felt the tick of every second while trying to choose the correct option in any decision making deal. Even in more mundane, less consequential choices time seems to stand still while you shuffle, rate, analyze, and juggle the alternatives. Even in a fast-food restaurant line the time element of selecting your lunch is amplified by forces beyond your control---movement of the hurried lunch crowd, their voices reciting the combo numbers and prices in unison with yours, money changing hands, and all the rest. The emotional weight of wavering is heavy even then. But, more so in a lawyers offices, at a bank counter, making real-estate offers, scrolling the options of a new car, listening to a range of treatment possibilities from your doctor, or any number of the serious decision-making crucibles of life in the fast lane. Decision time may be among the heaviest of emotional baggage, a dilemma for sure.
Living in a fluid world that moves from decision point to decision point every day means learning to navigate the waves of indecision. What ideals or values can help me become a better decision maker? There are a couple of avenues to take---
1. Pray like never before.
Scripture advises us to pray continually and in every life circumstance (see
1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Ephesians 6:18). While we're apt to seek His
guidance in the significant decisions of life we are more prone to ignore His
counsel over what we think to be minor decisions. Asking for wisdom in every
life decision is good counsel (note James 1:5). We can never pray too much.
2. Seek the counsel of Scripture.
Most life situations are addressed in the Bible. Learning to explore Scripture
for life answers is the mark of a growing and mature faith. You should own a
good concordance of the Bible, a one volume Bible dictionary, and a Bible
commentary. At the least, you can access biblical data on Google or other
search engines. When a decision is weighing heavy on you, find out what the
Bible says about it. It is truth and the way to Godly decisions. King David
confessed the "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"
(Psalms 119:105). Should it not guide us also?
3. X marks the spot. Start here.
Maps are good for navigation and direction. There must be a starting place and
and destination if the map is to serve it's purpose. The starting place is where
to begin. It is to mark the spot you occupy at the time the decision must be
made. This is just self-awareness at a heightened level. We must know where
we are. Nail it down up front---your particulars, demographics, beliefs and
values, parameters for living, financial status, health, relationships, careers and
all the personal data that must help you define your place as the decision is
being made. Paul wrote, "Look what is before your eyes" (2 Corinthians 10:7).
Assess where you are and what you can do before making big decisions.
4. It's the information age. Grab some.
Knowing where you are is just one element of the decision-making process.
What about everything else that touches or relates to your decision? With
quick access to the information super highway we're just negligent if we don't
search out information about important life decisions. If you don't know how
to navigate search engines ask someone to help. In this age you must have all
the information you need when making decisions.
5. Leave your addictions at the door.
They say indecisiveness is the result of two addictions: fear of making a bad
decision, and our need for the approval of other people. The Bible speaks
clearly about both. Take a moment aside and read John 14:27 and
Galatians 1:10. Is there a message here for you about fear and pleasing
people? Go to your decisions without fear or the anxiety of what other people
6. Submit to Godly counsel and guidance.
You know what Solomon wrote about counsel: "Without counsel plans fail, but
with many advisors they succeed" (Proverbs 15:22). It's just great spiritual
maturity to seek counsel when the issues are confusing and you can't make a
solid decision. Do it quickly, without reservation.
C.S. Lewis wrote, "Crying is all right in it's way, while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later and then you still have to decide what to do". It's a tipping point for many people. And a heavy emotional weight to carry, this indecision.
So, don't be squish like grape.
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