A Framework for Biblical Decision-Making

We each face many decisions in life, many are small and some are big. In most of these decisions, the Bible is clear about what we should do.

In some of them however, the right path to take might not be immediately obvious. It could be because we know the right thing to do deep down, but it’s hard, so we “wrestle” with it a bit. Or it could be because the situation is complex, involving a number of different Biblical principles.

I am in the midst of one such decision at the moment, where it is not clear what I should do. Below are some questions I am working through, as a kind of framework for Biblical decision-making. I haven’t gone through all these questions thoroughly yet (I’m taking my time with #6), but these are the kinds of things I’ve been thinking through (and talking through with my husband and friends) as I prepare to make a decision.

The Bible tells us that “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3) and that “if any of [us] lacks wisdom, [we] should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to [us]” (James 1:5).

We already have everything we need to live a godly life through the knowledge of God given to us in the Bible. And if we lack wisdom about how to understand and apply that knowledge, we only need to ask Him, and he will supply it!

That gives me great hope, even though I don’t yet have the all the answers about what to do. I trust that as I seek out God’s wisdom and dig deeper into the knowledge of Him, he will provide His wisdom to me.

 


The first two questions are already answered (with help from the children’s catechism) to help set the tone.

What is the purpose of your life? To glorify God and enjoy him forever.

How can you glorify God? By loving him and obeying him.

  1. How can you best love God in this situation?
  2. How can you best love the people involved in this situation?
  3. How can your decision promote the gospel of God’s grace to unbelievers?
  4. How can you best love and serve your brothers and sisters in Christ?
  5. Which sins (of either commission or omission) need to be avoided?
  6. Which Bible passages apply here and how?
  7. Is it a decision between right and wrong; between wise and foolish; or between two equally right and wise things?
  8. What might the consequences of either decision be? (This question might not apply to your situation if it’s a question of right or wrong. When it comes to obeying God, it is not for us to worry about the consequences. But in cases where either option would be obedient to Him, then it might be helpful to consider the consequences as you weigh your decision.)
  9. What are my feelings about this situation? How might they be deceiving me?

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A prayer for wisdom:

Dear Lord,

You are so good and so merciful. You have given me everything I need to live a godly life, through your divine power. You richly meet all my needs so that I am lacking nothing.

You can see all things and you know all things. You know the depths of everything that has happened here, even into the hearts of all people involved.

Lord, my desire is to bring you glory. I want nothing more than to lead others to know your name and to praise your name!

Please give me wisdom. Please open up your word to me so that I can grow in knowledge of you. I pray that you would give me to wisdom to see what would bring you the most glory in this situation.

I pray that you would help me to obey you, even when it’s hard. And I pray that you would help me to stand firm in my convictions.

May your name be glorified in all I do,

Amen.

 

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2 thoughts on “A Framework for Biblical Decision-Making

  1. A well thought out response to decision-making Seriously.
    #6 comes with a warning though – be aware of what answer you want as you open the bible, and then look for the opposite; it’s easy to find passages that give us the answer we’re looking for, it’s harder to be confronted with God’s complete Truth.
    I’ve seen vindictive women attempt to twist verses regarding God’s judgement to excuse their own sinful behaviour towards others (they should really be worried about those scriptures being applied to themselves!), and I’ve watched abusive husbands attempt to use scripture out of context to justify the use of their fists on their wives (“if you’d just ‘submit’ I wouldn’t have to do this *whack*”).
    There are many other situations where a person has already made the decision and is actually only looking to the bible to justify their own view. An honest heart will seek the full picture the bible paints & desire the true word of God – not just the parts they agree with.
    I think the other points you’ve added will help safe guard you (or whoever is trying to make the decision) – in addition to seeking GODLY wisdom from trusted mentors and friends – not just looking to people who will only act as an echo to your own voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sanheri,
    Yes, you are right about #6!
    When I went through this process recently, there were some verses I might have really liked to pretend didn’t exist, but I included them anyway. Such cherry-picking of verses is short-sighted anyway, because if God’s word is true and authoritative (and it is), then twisting it to suit our own desires can only yield short-term benefits in this life. But our own interpretations of Scripture have no bearing on God or eternity.

    Liked by 1 person

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