how to make difficult decisions

Six Questions to Ask Yourself When Making Difficult Decisions

Decisions matter. You are where you are today because of the decisions you’ve made over the course of your life.

Decisions shape us.

You’ve made a few big decisions like where to go to college, what career path to take, and who to marry. These are big decisions that impact our lives greatly, and we can easily see how these big decisions have influenced our lives.

Beyond those few big decisions, you’ve also made thousands (if not tens of thousands) of tiny decisions that also greatly shape the man or woman you are today. The podcast episode you decide to listen to during your workout shapes who you are. Where you spend your time on Sunday mornings shapes who you are. How you spend your money shapes who you are. How you decide to respond to the setbacks in life shapes who you are.

Decisions matter.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should strive to make good decisions. Psalm 119:66 says, “Teach me good judgment and discernment, for I rely on your commands.”

Makes sense right? If my decisions today shape who I am tomorrow, then I should strive to make good, godly decisions. That’s sounds easy for many decisions, but how do we handle those really difficult decisions in life? The decisions that don’t seem to have a clear cut answer, and neither outcome seems favorable. What do we do, then?

Here are six questions to ask yourself when making difficult decisions.

1. What is the right thing to do?

“Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that you may prosper and so that you may enter and possess the good land the Lord your God swore to give your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 6:18

Doing what is right should always proceed doing what is easy, convenient, popular, or expedient. When decisions get tough you might be tempted to find shortcuts or loopholes. Stick with what is right, and God will honor your decision.

2. What would I counsel someone else to do?

“How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers!” Psalm 1:1

Sometimes taking yourself out of the situation brings a clear, fresh perspective. Imagine it’s your best friend or your child who is seeking your counsel. What would you tell them? How would you guide them to make the difficult decision?

It’s a wise thing to surround yourself with people who are seeking God and can speak His words into you.

3. Despite how I feel, what would I do? 

“A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.” Proverbs 14:29

Emotions are powerful and can greatly impact our decision-making ability. Before making a difficult decision, be sure to identify any emotion you may be experiencing. Anger, jealousy, grief, sorrow, and other emotions can influence us to make poor decisions we wouldn’t otherwise make.

4. If God were watching, what would I do?

“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good.” Proverbs 15:3

He is watching. Always. It’s a childish behavior to act one way when dad is present and another way when dad is not present. Remember, God is always present. Make the decision knowing that He is with you.

5. Am I being completely honest with myself?

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

You will be tempted to lie to yourself to get what you want, so be brutally honest with yourself. Ask God to seek your heart and reveal if there’s an area that’s a blindspot. When He reveals it, don’t argue with God.

6. What is the wise thing to do?  

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

God makes you a promise. If you ask for wisdom He will give it…generously!