Life is a journey traveled one step at a time. As we approach the beginning of a new year, we find ourselves once again walking through a season of resolutions; assessing our lives and seeking to make improvements, at least in thought if not in action. Common resolutions address the issues of health and diet, financial stewardship, interpersonal relationships, and career goals. The problem, however, is that those resolutions often remain conceptual—a thought or good intention that fails to be put into action. The lack of fruition discourages the seemingly resolute, but stems from indecision. Approaching the New Year with new hopes and new goals, we must learn to make decisions, not mere resolutions.
Pastor and author Kevin DeYoung offers help on wise decision-making in Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will OR How to Make a Decision without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc. Though the title is nearly longer than the book itself, DeYoung succinctly and honestly offers “a liberating approach” to decision making. His aim is to counsel readers “to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through.”
Indecisiveness is a paralyzing symptom of fear. Delayed decision-making manifests itself within the larger arena of life: marriage, career, and education. It also affects the day-to-day living that makes up the grander schemes of life. The fear of failure or fear of making a bad decision is often to blame, but the root of the problem is motivation.
Indecisiveness and fear creates a prison that limits the freedom to thrive in daily life.
Asserting that we are “directionally challenged,” DeYoung notes the “overspiritualization” of decision-making—as if our sole purpose is to weave through a confusing maze of discerning divine plans. Instead of fretting over the future, we are to trust the God who holds the future. The motivations of our decisions come into play. Some decisions are not good vs. bad, but both good. Rather than be paralyzed by fear or indecision, we are to boldly and wisely decide and then act. This is not reckless living, but wise living in faith. Far too often, we neglect the “tools of the trade” that have been given to us. Rather than randomly manipulating the tools of the trade, we are to walk in the wisdom of faith and wise counsel.
DeYoung gives the steps: search the Scriptures, get wise counsel, pray, make a decision. Making a decision is a great display of faith, and if it turns out to be not the best decision, we trust God and learn. We trust God’s providence in our decisions as we confidently decide and act with well-informed motivations. After all, “wisdom is a way of life.”
In preparation for the New Year, make decisions, not resolutions. Decide with wisdom, act with confidence, and live in freedom. May your motivations free you from the prison of fear of failure, and guide you out of the maze of indecision. Life is a journey traveled one step at a time. Walk tall, stumble if you must, but enjoy every step.