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?

DSC_0076

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.

 

Advertisements

When You Don’t Want to Change

 

DSC_0023

Every morning when I dropped my daughter to school, I saw this beautiful tree in the car park.

I was drawn to it’s bright red leaves. I loved the way it was still clinging to them despite all the other trees having dropped their leaves weeks ago.

I guess it was a picture of resilience to me – a lone tree clinging to beauty in the face of bitter frost and fog.

But the other morning I saw something different.

I saw defiance and rebellion. I saw one little tree recklessly holding onto “same” when it was time for “change”.

 

It made me reflect on life’s seasons, and how sometimes I can stubbornly cling to one season, even long after the fog and frost has arrived. Refusing to let go of the warmth and colour of autumn, even when the time for winter is here.

You see, I really hate change.

I’m like, okay, so this is the season we’re in? Great, let me make up a schedule. Let me find what works. Let me finesse our routine.

See? I can totally do this. Everything is running smoothly. Life is just gre…

What? A new season already? But I just… *sigh*

 

So I really relate to that little tree with it’s brilliant red leaves. It’s just got the hang of autumn. It’s rocking autumn. And it just isn’t ready to deal with a new season yet.

The Bible says that just like the seasons in nature, there are seasons in life.

Ecclesiastes 3 puts it like this:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

And just as there is a season for everything, it is God who directs the seasons and determines when it is time for each activity.

The passage goes on to say that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.

When I cling to the last season, unwilling to let it go and move into the new season of life, what I’m saying is that I believe my fears more than I believe God.

I’m saying that my own worries about what the new season might bring are bigger than the God who guides the seasons.

Which is ridiculous!

I think of Jesus walking on the water, calling Peter to walk out of the boat, across the water to Him. All Peter could see was his fears (and to be honest, logic!). Logic and experience says that if you step on water, you will fall in.

But Peter forgot Who was calling him.

The very One who made the water with all of it’s natural laws! He had no reason to fear, because Jesus was the one who made and controlled the whole realm of nature.

When God calls me into a new season – when He says “it’s time for something else” – there’s no reason for me to fear because He holds the seasons in His hands.

He is the just as much the Lord of autumn’s brilliant hues as he is the Lord of winter’s frost and fog.

And whatever season my life is in, I can trust Him.