Recently I had a difficult decision to make. I went back and forth feeling one way on Monday, another on Tuesday, and several ways on Wednesday. I studied the upsides and the downsides—I became educated about the product I was considering purchasing—I read reviews both good and bad—glorious and hellacious. After this “back and forth” went on for a week I finally realized I was suffering from Paralysis of Analysis, I had my feet firmly planted in mid-air. To be completely candid with you I was starting to get a bit edgy even a bit moody because I couldn’t seem to plant my feet and make a decision.
Have you ever noticed that some of the most unhappy, miserable moments of our lives—are when we can’t seem to make a decision? When the mind is harboring doubt, it is most easily swayed by the slightest of impulses. These impulses, when not anchored with wisdom and thoughtfulness, can indeed lead to haste in our decision making. So there are decisions in life worthy of wrestling with—and it is wise when dealing with big decisions, to wrestle with them prayerfully. But there are many, many, decisions that reveal a lack of confidence, undue fretfulness, or obsessive worry. I came to realize it was the undue fretfulness that made my decision more difficult than it needed to be. And thus impacted my disposition.
Indecision can be deadly. The truth is that the most dangerous place to be is in the middle of the road. As a Christian believer there should be humble strength in my certitudes. As a believer my life can be filled with doing God’s declared will—not simply a list of uncertain wishes. In James 1:8 the Scripture says “A double minded person is unstable in all their ways.” An overabundance of indecisiveness allows for instability to creep into our lives. If we don’t decide what is most important to us we will probably spend most of our time doing exclusively what is important to others. Additionally the greater degree of wishful thinking, as opposed to clear, focused thinking, the greater degree there will be of mediocrity. Being decisive, being focused, committing ourselves to the fulfillment of a God led dream increases the probability of success and well-being. It can also close the door to wrong or destructive options. The challenge is to have decisive dreams.
Harry Truman once said, “Some questions cannot be answered, but they can be decided.” When I had trouble making my purchasing decision I needed more information. I needed more facts and more peace before moving forward. With more prayer and diligence in fact gathering, I was eventually able to make a good and peaceable decision. But, I didn’t move forward until I had peace. Prayer and further deliberation were imperative in that process. The Bible says to let the peace of God rule in our hearts. (Colossians 3:15) When I recognized that I am wavering back and forth, thus disturbing my spirit I took three decisive actions. First I gathered more facts about the decision at hand…second I sought council from several friends who added insight wisdom and perspective…and thirdly I surrendered the decision to God in prayer. In my prayer I asked God for a peace to transcend my anxiety and my prayer was indeed answered. Clarity and decisiveness of mind are imperative to our well-being but so is a humble teachable spirit.
Being decisive and making wise decisions is of untold benefit throughout our lives . I would recommend the reading of a timeless book Decision Making and the Will of God, authored by Garry Friesen. The book has been a lifeline to me in aiding me to have greater clarity in the direction and decisions of my life. Decision making in many dimensions of our lives can be difficult, but it is worth a thorough effort to do it well. Like so much of life we seem to get out of our decision making what wisdom we are willing to put into it!