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7 Biblical Principles For Making Difficult Decisions

The further we move along in life, the more of us have to make difficult decisions. As a pastor, I have people continually asking me what to do about the situations they face. For many, it is what to do about the vaccines or the passports that governments or employers are forcing. Some are looking at the financial decisions, job, and career choices, and how to navigate those things in the times we live. Others are facing medical or health-related situations that they are unsure of. Whether it be these or other potential situations like what to do in a marriage or other relationship? The reality is that many are making potentially life-impacting decisions that are not easy.




7 Principles For Biblical Decision Making


I may not be able to tell you what to do, but I can give you seven Biblical principles for making difficult decisions. God’s Word says in Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.


This verse leads to the foundational principle.


WHAT DOES GOD'S WORD SAY

"We must make God’s Word the foundation for all decisions. His Word must be the foundation for our life."


What He says is what matters. His Word is a lamp and light to lead us in the ways of life.

Proverbs 6:23 - For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life,


The first place to start is looking into the Bible for what He says. His Word is right and pure. His Word will never lead us wrong. We can look to the Bible on making decisions.


Psalm 19:8 - the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;


Psalm 119:98-100 - Your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies, for they are continually with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the elders, because I keep Your precepts.


Now, for some, this makes certain decisions easy. God’s Word is particular about certain things. For example, God says very specifically do not steal. Do not commit adultery. For someone wondering what to do in their marriage relationship, the answer couldn’t be more straightforward. But what about the ambiguous or not so obvious? The Bible doesn’t explicitly say do or do not get vaccinated. There is no such verse. However, as you seek and study His Word, you will find that it will guide you with biblical principles that apply in these uncertain situations. Biblical decision-making starts with God’s Word.

Here are six more principles that, if tied with the one above, will help in making those hard decisions.


DON'T MAKE ANY DECISION BASED ON FEAR


God has not given us a spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control.

Fear is a driving force that results in panic. Fear is a bondage that will lead us to make the wrong decision and ensnare us further. We don’t have to look any farther than how this Covid pandemic has been handled, and we will see the destructive results of making decisions based upon fear.


As Christians, we are not subject (or we should not be subject) to fear because we have the Spirit of Christ living inside us. Therefore, we have power, love, and self-control (as the KJV says, a sound mind). Through His Spirit living inside of us, God gives us all that is needed not to make decisions based on fear.



DON'T MAKE ANY DECISION BASED ON PRIDE

Don't let pride keep you from making the correct choice. Remember, pride is usually influenced by fear of people, which is a trap.


Proverbs 29:25 - The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever puts his trust in the Lord will be safe.

Sometimes we let our pride get in the way because we have to backpedal on what we told others. In our haste, we spoke too quickly, and now we see that we may need to change course. Whatever it may be, the fear of people, what they may say, or what they may think, it is better to make the correct decision in humility than make the wrong one because of pride.


MAKE DECISIONS BASED UPON FAITH


As we should not decide upon things based on fear, we should make decisions founded on faith.


First, as Hebrews says, without faith, it is impossible to please God. Secondly, it is the life that we are to live as Christians.


2 Corinthians 5:7 - For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Since we walk by faith, it cannot be separated from anything we do, including our decisions.

"Every decision must be grounded in faith in God, in His leading, and in His Word."


One test for decision-making is to ask yourself. Does the answer I am looking at require me to exercise faith in God? If the response to that is no, then it is probably not the correct answer. God leads us to walk in faith and trust in Him.


CAST DOWN EVERYTHING THAT EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

I said the foundational principle is to start with God’s Word. This goes along with that but from a different angle. It also plays into the point of not making decisions based on fear. Many people and many Christians are making decisions based upon everything else they hear or see.

In fact, in many cases, the news and media have become like idols that they can’t pry their ears and eyes away from. This has led to basing decisions on what they see and hear rather than faith or obedience to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 - casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Don’t get caught up in the news. There is a lot of news, internet sites, media, people (on all sides, right/left, conservative/liberal, Christian/not) spreading ideas and taking the attention away from God. In many cases, Christians are far more knowledgeable about the latest world events than what God says or what His Word says. So much of what we hear and see is based on fear. I can tell you why. It attracts attention. Very little inspires or offers hope or edifies in faith.

Certainly, we should be aware of things happening; however, that should be a far second to what God is saying and doing. If something takes your attention in an unhealthy manner away from God, cast it down.


ASK GOD FOR WISDOM


James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without criticism, and it will be given to him.


A great promise of scripture is that if we require wisdom, we can ask God, and He will not hold back but give it in abundance. With the many potentially big life-altering decisions needed, the Father is the best source of wisdom for what to do. He knows all. He sees the big picture. He sees the potential outcomes. He sees the dangers and pitfalls. Nothing is hidden from Him.


"There is nothing wrong with seeking advice from a spiritually mature person, even a pastor, but nothing replaces the wisdom from God."


Psalm 118:8 - It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.


SEEK THE LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.


Lastly, seek the leading of the Holy Spirit. Christians have an incredible advantage; the Spirit of God is living inside of us. In Galatians, it talks about if we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. It also says that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. The Holy Spirit will help us make the right decision and live out that decision as we seek and walk in submission to His leading.


The Holy Spirit is resident in us as the Spirit of truth. As we seek His leading, He will guide us into the things the Word of God says.


"The Holy Spirit will never direct us to sin or contrary to the will of God. He will guide us into the principles of scripture to help us in any decision we have to make."


John 16:13 - But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority. But He will speak whatever He hears, and He will tell you things that are to come.


Here is a supplemental worksheet:

7 Biblical Principles For Making Difficult Decisions
.pdf
Download PDF • 62KB


CLOSING


I hope these scriptural principles help you. Please feel free to share them with others. Remember, God loves you and wants the best for you!


In the midst of life's complex decisions, which of these seven biblical principles resonates with you the most? Share your thoughts and personal experiences, and let's encourage one another in navigating life's challenging choices through the lens of God's wisdom.



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5 Comments

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Guest
Jan 24
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great post. It helped me a lot. Thanks!

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Guest
Jan 10
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thisreally resonates with me. The one paragraph that hit deepest was this one....

The Holy Spirit is resident in us as the Spirit of truth. As we seek His leading, He will guide us into the things the Word of God says


My question is how will The Holy Spirit guide me so that I see, hear and know that it is from The Holy Spirit and not something my mind made up to believe.


Thank you for your post!

Brian

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Hello Brian... Thanks for the kind words. As to your question, first the Holy Spirit will only lead you based on the principles of God's Word. So all actions or directions the Spirit will speak to you must align with scripture. Secondly, the things of God lead to peace. Read Philippians 4:4-9. Whatever the Spirit leads you in will come with a sense of peace. If there is no inward peace it is likely not the Holy Spirit. Third, it is a step and walk of faith. Everything the Spirit leads in will involve faith and walking in faith. If faith is not required, again, its probably not the Holy Spirit. I hope this makes sense to you.

Blessings! PChad

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Guest
Nov 28, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Awesome

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Replying to

Thanks so much for the encouragement!

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