Every day we are faced with difficult decisions . . . some because of problems and some opportunities.
- Where should we live?
- How can we best help our child?
- What is the best path forward with this health problem?
- What career/job is the best choice for me?
- Where should I go to school?
- Where? What? When? How?
Sometimes knowing what to do is easy. The decision is obvious and we’re able to move forward with little stress and anxiety.
But at other times, maybe more often than we’d like, the choices are difficult with options going in dozens of directions leaving us feeling confused and unsettled.
We want to make the best choices for ourselves and our families, but knowing what’s best is not always clear-cut.
Rev and I have had to make many difficult decisions and I wish I could give you a quick and easy formula that could take the stress out of indecisive seasons but…
However, I can tell you some of the things we’ve learned that make the process better…
7 Things to Do When
You Have to Make Difficult Decisions
1. Admit you don’t know what to do.
It’s okay . . . some decisions are hard. It’s part of life. Pausing and admitting that a decision is difficult can help us clear our thoughts, minimize anxiety and open our minds to productively working toward an answer.
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.1 Peter 5:6–7
2. Ask yourself if there is a clear right or wrong decision.
Wisdom is knowing the difference between right and wrong. It’s knowing God’s commands and being willing to follow them. And having a desire to obey God’s will makes us more sensitive to God’s direction. So, start by doing the things you know you should do even if they’re just a small part of the decision.
[The Lord] leads the humble in the right way and teaches them His will. With faithfulness and love He leads all who keep His covenant and obey His commands.Psalm 25:9–10
God’s Word tells us to pray about everything. He invites us to ask for His counsel . . . to ask Him what to do and when to do it.
We’ve often prayed…
Lord, we don’t know what to do, but You know. Please guide us. Show us what to do, when to do it, and how to best glorify You. Help us know the truth in this situation. Soften our hearts. Clear our minds. And please give us Your courage and strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
4. Be still and wait for His answer.
Trust God’s timing and ability to guide a heart and mind that is yielded to Him. He may be working things out in ways you can’t see and He may be using the waiting process to increase your faith.
Our job is to SEEK His will, TRUST His Word, and LIVE with patience.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.Psalm 62:5–6
5. While you wait do what you can.
Do your homework and invite wise counsel.
When it comes to a move, job change, or whether or not to homeschool your children. Do your research. Ask for advice. And compare what you discover with your goals and core values.
“Goals help you overcome short-term problems.” ~ Hannah More
6. Discuss what you’ve learned with
those who will be affected by this decision.
Almost every decision we make will have an impact on the people around us. Valuing their thoughts is an important way to show them how much we love and care for them. It doesn’t mean we will always be able to do what they want, but listening and letting them know they matter will always bless your relationships and decisions.
The mind of a person with understanding gets knowledge; the wise person listens to learn more.Proverbs 18:15
7. Ask — what’s the loving thing to do?
The loving decision is always the right decision. There may not be a more obvious loving choice . . . but if there is, then making the best choice suddenly becomes much much easier.
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.1 John 4:7
A Prayer to Trust and Honor God
When Making Difficult Decisions
Father, I feel stuck. This decision feels overwhelming. It will have an impact on my family now and well into the future. I thought I’d know what to do when the time came, but now I’m frozen by fear. What if I make the wrong choice?
I humbly come to You asking for Your help and direction. I want to honor You with my life. I want my family to honor You. Please help me look at the options through the lens of Your commands. Help me patiently take the time I need to SEEK Your will. I want to KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY Your will. Father, please make me be willing to choose the loving thing even if it is not the most popular or profitable.
Thank you for Your patience and loving care. Thank you for Your Spirit’s comfort and counsel. Thank you for faithfully keeping Your promises. I ask this in the precious name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.
The 7-step process isn’t fast or easy but, with God’s help, we can make wiser choices, and in the end, wise decisions lead to peace, joy, and contentment.
May God be with you and bless you as you SEEK His help when you have to make difficult decisions.
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