6 Guidelines to Help you Make Good Life Choices
Life demands important decisions from us. Often there’s no room for do-overs when we make a bad call. As God’s Word, the Bible is a reliable guide to help us make decisions that will bear good fruit in our lives. Let’s explore some points to help you with decision-making so you can be more confident about the choices you need to make.
Those who know me well know that I take a long time deciding what to order from a menu with more than three options. It gives me some peace of mind to know that if I choose a less-than-ideal option, smiling servers are usually willing to serve up a different plate. If only all of the other decisions we have to make in life came with the guarantee of a do-over if we make a bad choice. The majority of our decisions are far more important. We are under a lot of pressure to hire, date, befriend, or marry the right person. We want to send our children to the best schools possible and live in a neighborhood that is suitable for our family.
Perhaps you’re debating whether to return to school or leave your current job to pursue a completely different career path. Whatever decision we need to make, God’s Word is a trustworthy source for guiding us towards decisions that will bear good fruit in our lives.
Sometimes we have to make important life choices or real big decisions that could be life-changing. Whatever the situation, be sure to follow these steps that will help you make good life decisions.
Trust God fully leaning on Him
Even if you’ve made poor decisions in the past and have paid dearly for some of them, ask God to help you lean on His Word as you navigate life’s tough choices. Maybe you are used to solving problems and making decisions without consulting anyone, but now you’re finding that what’s in front of you is bigger, more challenging than anything you have ever faced. You are invited to trust God fully, to lean on Him and not rely on your abilities.
To trust God fully requires being confident that He is trustworthy. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being most trusting, how much do you trust God? What will it take for you to trust God fully?
It might help you greatly to list all the attributes you know to describe God. Your list might include: loving, kind, constant, mighty, merciful, etc.
Based on your experience with God, complete this sentence: God, you are _______, so I trust you to help me make the right decision about________. Repeat this sentence a few times replacing the first blank space with different attributes each time.
It’s been said that experience teaches wisdom. When you’ve lived long enough and experienced enough you should have what it takes to make sound decisions. While this may be true for some people, all of us meet circumstances that challenge everything we know and threaten to uproot us. Such situations drive us to look outside of ourselves to the source of all wisdom.
In moments of indecision, seek God for wisdom that comes only from Him, so you may choose rightly.
Wisdom is not usually at the top of people’s wish list. Houses, cars, the best and biggest corner office, the latest cell phone and all the stuff money can buy typically rolls off the tongue. Pray for wisdom. It’s often what makes the difference between making a good decision versus making the best decision. When we ask God for wisdom, we can be sure it will be given if we “have faith and not doubt”.
It’s easy to read God’s Word and never get around to doing what it says. Ask God to give you the wisdom to make the best choice.
Pour your heart to God
It’s hard to make a decision when the stakes are high. Avoiding it altogether may seem a better option than making a choice. But in those circumstances that demand a ‘grown-up’ response, those who trust in God can look to him for guidance. The psalmist David faced humiliating and devastating conditions. He poured out his heart to the LORD, noting God’s faithfulness and love to those who obey God’s Word and then seeking God’s forgiveness for his wrongdoing. Perhaps the decision before you is the result of your own wrongdoing. Nevertheless, like David, a repentant heart can ready us to receive needed guidance.
When you feel stuck and the choices before you are life-changing, do not let your past mistakes and wrongdoings prevent you from approaching God freely. Rather run to God beseeching Him to forgive you and order the steps you should take. Then rest assured knowing that He will forgive you and show you the right path.
Meditate on God’s word
Sometimes the last thing we do when we face obstacles is consult God’s Word. We turn to other people for advice. We take a trial-and-error approach, or we spend our days fretful and feeling helpless and even hopeless. Sometimes all these efforts serve only to turn molehills into mountains. But when our go-to response to crises is prayer and meditation on God’s Word, we are more likely to find just what’s needed.
Thank God for nudging you gently to find answers in His Word. Help me to act on it and not make excuses to look elsewhere.
Children conjure scary images while they lay in the dark, afraid of what lurks under their beds or in their closets. When the light is turned on, they discover that the ‘monsters’ were only a sweater hanging over the door and an old, familiar toy. Similarly, our circumstances can appear differently when examined without the lens of Scripture. The psalmist’s words lead us to consider that God’s Word is a light that can illuminate the best way forward.
Let the Scripture set the standard
Cultural norms are difficult to bypass. These norms influence our desires and shape our decisions. They function like peer pressure—making us feel obligated to trying one thing or another. God’s Word charges us to consider that although a certain path may be acceptable according to societal norms, those for whom God’s Word is a guidepost should recognize it as the standard for living. Scripture should set the standard for all we do. It should guide and shape our way of thinking, which eventually plays out in what we do.
Too often we allow ourselves to think in ways that lead us to act contrary to God’s Word. Ask God to help you guard your thoughts so your ways will please Him.
Try to change your mind, to do away with ungodly thinking. But transformation of the mind doesn’t come easy. It requires total surrender to God and His Word, which enables us to relinquish our tendency to pattern worldly behaviors. Surrender your life to God’s will for your life.
“Ask God to show you areas of your life that you may need to surrender to his will.
Turn to godly advisors
People who think they are always right or know everything miss out on the benefits of receiving advice that could make good things better or prevent negative outcomes. On the other hand, those who have no confidence in their judgment or the insights of others can also miss opportunities that could radically shift their lives.
Sometimes, too, people choose to do what appears right but with the wrong motives. God’s Word is clear that doing the right thing for the wrong reason is displeasing to God. To stay on the right path, we can turn to godly advisers who have our best interest at heart. When we do, we open ourselves to the security it brings, as well as to outcomes that please God.
Final key points in making life choices
As we conclude this journey of making life decisions, let’s take another look at some key points.
- We can trust God unreservedly, knowing that he will guide us along the right path.
- Wisdom is a major asset in being able to choose rightly. So, let’s ask the God of all wisdom to make us wise.
- Obedience to God’s Word is critical to receiving God’s guidance.
- The light of God’s Word can illuminate the best path forward.
- Mind renewal, though difficult, is necessary to achieve total submission to what God desires for us.
- Good advice is valuable.
- Doing the right thing involves the right motives.
Today we take all our cares to God, knowing that he is near and ready to give us what we need to make the right choices. No, God is not a genie in a lamp standing by to grant us three wishes. But when life presents us with situations that can make us anxious, such as having to make crucial decisions, God’s Word encourages us to wholly lean on him rather than give in to worry and hopelessness.