The Question to Ask Before Making Decisions

About a week ago, a friend called me and asked if I could do him a favor that involved giving up time I had already commited to something else. Everything in me wanted to say yes to help my friend, but I had a feeling that it would end up causing more stress than necessary. It was tough—I wanted to help him, but it also would affect other responsibilities. I had to make a decision. 

Life is filled with decisions. Small, insignificant decisions, and big, life-altering decisions. Decision-making is hard. And exhausting. 

Recently, I’ve started asking myself a simple question (which I orginally heard from Andy Stanley) that makes decision-making a lot easier: 

What’s the wise thing for me to do?

You might brush this off and think this is elementary advice, and that’s understandable. But before you do, let me ask you something: wouldn’t your greatest regret have been prevented had you asked this question? That night, that purchase, that person, that drink-too-many, that website. That regret. What if you before you dove headfirst into that irresponsible decision you had taken a deep breath, paused, and asked yourself, “What’s the wise thing for me to do?” 

Most of the time, you’re going to know the answer to this question right away. It won’t always be the most fun or convenient answer, but you’ll know. Other times, it’s not as clear. So what if you don’t know what the wise thing is? You’re in luck, because James—the younger half-brother of Jesus, mind you—penned this verse:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5 NLT) 

Did you catch that? God will give you wisdom. You don’t have to beg for it or pry it out of His hands; your Heavenly Father is abundantly generous with his wisdom. So don’t be afraid to ask. 

So today, what’s the wise thing for you to do?

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