Decisions fascinate me. I believe all of life can be boiled down to making decisions. This is what we do at work. We decide what to work on, how to approach it, and how to carry out each step of our tasks. We do it in our personal lives. Am I going to call that person back? Even our spiritual lives. Am I really going to follow Jesus, or I am just going to attend church once a week?
See, the really interesting thing about decisions is that they define who we are. No man was ever remembered for thinking something in his head and never telling anyone about it. People are remembered for deciding to do something. Even the great “thinkers” wrote books to convey their thoughts, which is no easy feat. Like it or not, our decisions will tell the true story of our lives. You can say you’ll be there, but if you’re not, the person left waiting knows the real you. You can say you love God, but if you hate your neighbor, God knows your heart.
(DISCLAIMER: I feel I can speak on this because I know what it’s like to make the wrong decisions. I can tell you how to do something all day long – we all can. I can tell you how to have a perfect golf swing, but I sure can’t do it.)
But we all hate making decisions. We don’t want to choose what song to listen to, so we go to Pandora or hit shuffle on our iPods. We want someone else to do the research on the car and tell us which one to buy. Wives want their husbands to decide where to go for dinner so they don’t have to choose (or at least that’s how my family works). Maybe it’s because we hate making them that so many of us are so bad it it.
Many of us are in debt because we didn’t want to make the hard decision to buy with cash. We work stale jobs because we don’t want to make the hard decisions to follow our hearts and God’s calling on our lives. According to an article on theAtlantic.com, “nearly a fifth of all the men, women, and children in this country,” visited a pornographic website because they didn’t want to make the decision to choose against killing their souls and debasing their morals. And that was just in January of last year.
We have lost God when we don’t think we have to make the tough decisions life places on us. Jesus called us to make decisions in the Gospel accounts. In Matthew He said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Jesus is asking the disciples to make a decision for their lives. The harvest field is of course, our world. He is calling the disciples to pray for help, because the world needs to be saved. God will provide, but the disciples also had to make the decision to give their lives to the cause.
Making the right decisions is often what sets a good leader apart from a great leader. You don’t hear of too many highly successful people that make the decision to sleep in and hit snooze a few times. No, they wake up well before most of us would dream because they are focused and know they need to make that hard decision to accomplish their goals. We all look up to people who make the “hard” decisions. But in reality, the people making those choices are no different than anyone else. They’ve made a conscious decision to change something in their lives, or to lead a certain way, or to live out their faith in a righteous way.
We must all be better at making the right decisions. They say that integrity is who you are when no one’s watching. But to be thought of as a person of integrity, one must first make the right decisions.