Every person wrestles with making decisions. We make decisions every day such as what clothes to where, whether to check social media right now or read the Bible, whether to order fries or Brussel sprouts with a hamburger, whether to eat out in the first place, etc…
As well, we all face “larger” decisions at times such as whether to marry, whom to marry, whether to go to college, where to live, what kind of job to work, what church to attend, etc…
That we have options and decisions is a blessing. Decisions represent opportunities. Many people throughout history have not had the quantity of opportunities which we do.
At times, the quantity and weight of decisions we face can seem overwhelming.
I’d like to set forth a simple syllogism which has helped me with decision making. This syllogism applies to all types of decisions, the “little” and the “big”.
If we want to make decisions which please God,
then we need to know what pleases Him.
That’s the first part. No rocket science. It’s so simple it is obvious.
Nothing complex. It’s actually pretty simple. If we want to make decisions which please God we need to know what He values. When we know what He values we are equipped to choose the things He values. Human relationships illustrate this truth.
I know that my wife is pleased when I make her coffee in the morning. I learned this by getting to know her.
Employee-employer relationships provide a similar parallel. When an employee knows how his boss runs the business and why he does certain things, the employee is equipped to make decisions which please the boss, even in matters where there is no specific directive, even when the boss is not there.
Next comes the second part: how do we know what pleases God? Answer:
We know what pleases God by knowing Him through His Word.
Jesus is the Word of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, ESV)
Jesus displayed God in a uniquely visible way.
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Heb 1:3, ESV)
Not only does Jesus magnificently display God’s glory and character, He was well pleasing to the Father.
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22, ESV)
Jesus’s life and death are the perfect display of a life which is pleasing to the Father. In Him, we see the perfect display of love and justice. In Him we see mercy towards sinners and stinging rebuke of those who hinder sinners from coming to Him. In Him, we see the perfect example of loving sacrifice.
And where do we get to know Jesus, the Word of God? In the Bible, the written Word of God.
The Old Testament points to the coming Messiah. The Gospels record His life, teaching, death, and resurrection. Acts records His work to grow the early church via the Holy Spirit and Apostles. The Epistles record His desires for the church and rebuke for errors. His Revelation unveils His glorious future acts.
The Whole of Scripture points to Jesus, the Word of God. We get to know Jesus in the Word of God.
Knowing Jesus doesn’t make all decisions obvious. There are many complexities in the decisions we face. Yet, the more we know Jesus, the more we are equipped to make decisions which please God.
Our decisions are part of the life for which we, who are Believers, will be judged:
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Cor. 5:9-10, ESV)
If you find yourself overwhelmed by a decision it can be beneficial to step back from the options and spend time getting to know Jesus in the Word. And, if you make the day to day decision to get to know God in His Word, you will be better equipped to handle decisions which come your way.
When we know Jesus closely, we are equipped to make decisions which please Him.