. . . he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. – James 1: 8
Decisions can make a life. Decisions can change a life. Decisions can destroy a life. Decisions can take a life. No wonder it is so hard to decide. In spite of the fact that each of us unconsciously and almost automatically makes thousands of decisions every day, we are acutely aware of the power and importance of these decisions. For many of us, the issue is less a matter of making the right decision than it is a matter of making any decision at all.
We are paralyzed by the possibilities of decisions. We run from the responsibility for decisions. We wrestle with the consequences of making the wrong decision. Therefore, we make none at all. Like the doubting man in the Bible, our double mindedness (inability to decide) makes us unstable in all our ways because whichever way we go, it requires a decision to go that way or be that way.
All of this is complicated by the fact that many decisions are not simple choices between an obvious evil and a great good. Sometimes, the choice is between two goods or two evils. In the one case, making a choice might cause us to miss out on something good. In the other case, making a choice will still force us to accept an evil which is merely “less” evil. The inability to decide has several critical consequences.
1. It prolongs the process often to the point that the decision becomes moot. For example, if we cannot choose which item to purchase by the time it goes off of sale, we will lose a benefit we might have had if we had decided in a timelier manner.
2. It delays the enjoyment of advantages which could be received by making the decision sooner. Even if we make the right choice, holding off the decision could mean that the benefits of making the right decision will be experienced less because it took us more time to decide.
3. It puts other lives on hold as they, too, are often affected by our decisions. Although we make decisions as individuals, our decisions affect the lives of others and when we fail to decide, it has a ripple effect on other people.
This month, as we dig deeper into decision, without being hasty and mindless, let us seek the help of the Lord in choosing what to decide and, then, decide to decide.