I can swing back and forth between being extremely decisive or taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to make a decision. This indecision shows up often when I'm booking travel. I like to shop around and I'm pretty skilled at finding the best deals, but if I'm not quick and thoughtful, I'll miss my moment and quickly lose any discounts to my indecision. And if I wait too long to book my travel arrangements, that indecision will quite literally cost me. Most recently, I ended up paying three times a normal rate because of indecision.
This happens in many areas of life. We think we have time to start eating better tomorrow or start our business when we feel ready. We push things off till the next day then the next, and the next. The truth is, indecision will cost you. You may be missing opportunities for growth. You could be missing opportunities to serve or help others. Indecision could cost you financially or it could put you in a time deficit. At the very least, indecision will cost you some level of stress and anxiety that can be avoided. Instead of getting stuck in indecision, it's better to take one step, then another, then another. Eventually those little steps will lead you in the right direction.
When I'm faced with a decision, I weigh it with these simple steps:
1. Count the cost. There is a parable that talks about a builder who would count the cost before building a tower. He would ensure he had enough materials, money and resources before ever starting on his project, otherwise he may never finish (Luke 14:28). When you're faced with a big decision count the cost. Can you see it though financially? Do you have the resources to complete it? Will it be a burden that you can carry or a burden that will break you?
2. Follow the stream. If you ever watch a stream or river, the water is always going somewhere. If you throw a stick in the water, it will flow downstream. When you're faced with a decision, throw a stick in the water (metaphorically speaking) and watch where it goes. Can you see yourself following that decision for the next 5, 10 or 20 years? Do you like where it's going? Does it match with your overall goals, values and beliefs?
3. Look out for donkeys in the road. There's a story in the Bible of a man named Balaam who wasn't listening to God and was going where God told him not to. Since he refused to listen, God spoke to and through Balaam's donkey instead. This donkey would stop and lay down in the middle of the road, preventing Balaam from moving forward (Numbers 22:21-39). If you are seeing closed door after closed door, that may be a queue to stop and see if you're listening to God's instructions.
4. Get wisdom. Too often we can make big decisions without seeking outside help. Wisdom is our friend. Wisdom will help us see what we can't see on our own. Ask a trusted parent, older friend, teacher or pastor for wisdom before moving on anything major.
5. Does it align with the Word of God. Most importantly, are you deciding based on God's word, character, and instruction for righteousness? Proverbs is a good place to seek wisdom for your decisions.
In this season, I've been learning that decisions that seem good and an "easy yes" are not always wise or fruitful. And sometimes decisions that seem like an "easy no" have a bigger impact than paying three times a normal price like I just did. I've been learning to lean in closer to God as He is calling me to be very precise with my choices.
What about you? What steps can you take today? What decision do you need to make to get out of indecision? You can trust that God is with you and will lead you.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. -Psalm 32:8
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” - Ecclesiastes 11:4