It’s extremely useful to know how to choose between two good choices.
For much of my Christian life, I have done, I think, a pretty good job dedicating myself to figuring out God’s will. I thought about questions like, What does God want me to do? What job does he want me to have? Where does he want me to live?
These sorts of questions have been things that I’ve always tried to keep at the forefront of my life because I never wanted to get to a place where I’m not living in accordance with God’s will.
Of course, sometimes the answers to those questions are really clear. God makes His will exceptionally strong as to what he wants me to do or what the right choices are. But sometimes it’s not at all clear to me. What do you do with that? Like what do you do when you have to make a decision about something and your options are all good?
For instance, how do you make a decision between two equally good choices? How do you take action and not just be paralyzed in analysis mode, trying to weigh all the options? How do you actually take action with when both options seem like they could be the right choice?
To begin thinking about this, it’s important to understand what is and what isn’t a part of God’s will in the sense of how we interact with it.
Questions like, “Does God want me to eat at Chick-Fil-A or McDonald’s this morning? What is God’s will? Does he want me to have a chicken biscuit or a McGriddle?” just aren’t really things that God seems to concern himself with, right? We’re talking bigger picture, trying to figure out what is God’s will when it’s God’s plan for some significant portion of my life.
Consider the question, “What is my purpose?”
God is much more concerned with your spiritual trajectory. When we see God’s will in the Bible that’s quite often what is being discussed: Who we become.
Are we going closer to Jesus?
Are we becoming closer to God or are we pulling away?
Are we focusing on living a spiritual life or are we falling in love with the ways of the world?
These are the things that God is concerned with as far as making his will known to us.
As we are trying to figure out when considering a decision: Is one decision over the other going to draw me closer to God or create unnecessary barriers between me and God or give me trouble in my faithfulness?
These are the kinds of God’s will “questions” that He is consistently interested in about you.
It’s crucial to recognize and hold in the back for our minds as we approach this scenario that God is much more concerned with who you are as a person versus small decisions like whether you take the interstate or the back roads to work. Also, remember the other thing that’s really freeing: God can and does work through your mess, even if you choose “wrong”.
One of my fears as a young Christian was making the wrong decision and messing up God’s plan. I did not want to be that guy that messed everything up because I did something foolish or silly But I learned quickly that God’s plan is resilient.
God’s plan is much more resilient than we give credit.
God’s purposes will be achieved, regardless of what any of us choose to do.
God will be glorified.
God will be honored with or without us.
Jesus says that God can make rocks cry out in worship.
It’s a relief — that God’s plan is resilient. You cannot mess it up for Him. The pressure is off when you’re trying to figure out, “What do I do?” But still, you want to try to make the best choice.
What’s the right choice?
As long as you’re looking through it with the lens that we’re about to discuss, there’s not a lot that you can do to mess up your choice, alright?
You can be comforted and more at ease as you feel relief about that fact.
Understanding what God’s will is, and trying to decipher that he’s much more interested in a 30,000-foot view, helps us know that even when we make mistakes that we’re not going to jack up God’s plan.
How do you choose between two seemingly equal good options though?
I ask myself when considering the two options: “With all the information currently at my disposal, what gives me and my family the best chance of doing well spiritually?”
Sometimes you make a decision and then six months later you learn some new information that makes you regret the decision that you made.
But unfortunately, you can’t look into the future and say, “What am I going to know later on that could help me make this decision now?” You go ahead and let yourself off the hook for that because it’s not possible to know in advance, to do it any other way
Be comfortable with the limited information you currently have, and then from there, decide what you think is going to give you and your family the best chance of doing well spiritually.
When you make your decisions through that lens, then it’s really hard to go wrong!
You might make a less than ideal decision, but you’re certainly not going to make an awful decision.
Here are some questions and potential dilemmas where this lens is helpful
For instance, let’s say you have an opportunity to take a higher-paying job in a city that doesn’t have a church that you feel comfortable with. You’re not sure if there’s a body of believers there that shares your convictions and your doctrine and what you know about the scriptures, and you’re not really sure if you’re going to find spiritual support there.
Well, what do you do? This one’s a little clearer than some of the scenarios we’re about to get into.
If I’m going to do what’s best for me spiritually, I’m going to turn down that higher paying job because having a spiritual family around me is more important for my longevity as a Christian.
That’s how the lens we’re discussing here gives clarity to something that’s not bad.
It’s not bad to take a higher paying job. It’s not bad to move. It’s not a bad decision. It just might not be the best decision.
What about a question or a decision?
For instance, thinking about whether you should join this small group or that small group? If you’re torn between two seemingly equally good decisions, ask yourself what is going to give you and your family at this point in your lives the best chance to do well spiritually.
The response that comes to you might mean being in a small group that challenges you more because you recognize I need to be challenged to grow. It doesn’t necessarily mean the one that is tailored to fit to your needs is the best, but ask yourself to figure out which one is really going to help you the most spiritually in the ways that seem to make sense at this time in life.
Here’s a decision that I’ve wrestled with. Should I take my wife on a date tonight or jump into a Bible study with somebody? Well, I can make a case for both. Both of those seem really important. And in an ideal world, I would do both. But if I only have to choose one, how do I do that?
Depending on what’s going on in my relationship with my wife at the time, and you know what the situation is with the Bible study, I could go either way, depending on the week, depending on the month, and so on I always try to approach it with this lens and that’s just really helpful for me and hopefully it will be helpful for you.
With all the information currently at your disposal, ask yourself what gives you and your family the best chance of doing well spiritually? Roll with that!
Throughout your life, you’ll be faced with many dilemmas — some with more clear answers than others. If you strive to make the decision that gives you and your family the best chance of doing well spiritually, that’s the best you can be expected or hope to do in the end.