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Three Things to Remember about Making Decisions at Church (and at Home)

March 11, 2013

Do you have a decision you need to make - at church or in your personal life?

Here are three things to consider:

First, there may not be one "right" decision. When I was growing up, there was a lot of emphasis on discerning God's "perfect will." Getting it right was very important. I still believe that God guides us - yet not to make a perfect decision but as we live out our necessarily imperfect choices.

Rabbi Edwin Friedman used to say that people agonize over decisions like whom to marry. He claimed that it's not the decisions but how people live them out that matter most. I've been thinking about this for a lot of years. I think it applies to personal as well as church decisions. It's impossible to make the "right" decision - we just don't know all the variables, and we can't predict the future.

Second, God works best through our natural inclinations and giftedness. Just because you want something doesn't mean it's not God's will! In fact, your wants may be hints as to a direction to follow. God isn't necessarily out to make you do something you don't want to do.

Third, calming your mind will help you make better decisions. Often, our thoughts chase each other off into a future that does not exist. As individuals or as organizations, when we are anxious we can decide too quickly or put off decisions too long. The practice of sitting quietly in prayer daily when you are faced with a big decision can help you clarify. Stay in the present as you consider future decisions.

If you have a decision facing you, here are some questions to consider:

  1. What do you want? Now? In 10 or 25 years?
  2. What's the worst that could happen? Could you live with that?
  3. What's the best that could happen?
  4. By when do you need to decide?
  5. What can you celebrate about where you are right now?

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