Be better at making decisions – deciding at the crossroads

Table of Contents for: Be better at making decisions – deciding at the crossroads

Van trying to drive through a flooded road. Be better at making decisions.
Decision time! Do we decide to carry on, go back or take another turning? By Peter Reason licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Here we are again making decisions at the crossroads of our life.
We may think that we have made so many bad decisions in our lives, so how can we improve to make better decisions?

Some ‘routes’ will shout louder than others, but they are not necessarily the best one.
So how do we choose?

The first point may seem to be rather obvious, but it still needs to be raised:

Listening to our conscience in making decisions

When we are making decisions, does it compromise our, or other peoples, consciences?

Proverbs gives us some sensible advice:

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.”

Proverbs 4:14-15

Jeremiah had some particularly good advice for making decisions (quoting what the Lord said):

Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jeremiah 6:16

Our conscience may not always be correct, it depends on how outside influences have corrupted our conscience – see this article.

We may be feeling bombarded by all the new things, new ideas, new morals, so we just don’t know what to do, or which way to go.

Making decisions: stand and look

So the first bit of advice according to Jeremiah is ‘look’.
Stand and look, so don’t rush into it.

There is tremendous pressure to run headlong into everything these-days.

A footpath sign pointing to the right. Be better at making decisions.
By Peter Reason licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

No! “Stand at the crossroads and look.” Wait!
Wait patiently!

Give time to this decision.
While we look we can think things over.

We’re called to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.
Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Matthew 10:16

Let’s not spend years going along pathways that don’t particularly lead anywhere.

Making decisions: ask!

The second thing to notice in the passage is:-  ‘Ask’.
Ask the Lord which is the right way to go. Ask a wise person.

Have you noticed about signposts that they always give a destination, or a road number, but they never show what the best way is, nor what the worst way is.
The sign doesn’t tell us that if we go on this road, the car in front of us is going to have an accident!

But it is good to ask the Lord, and to trust Him that you will make the right decision.

Making decisions: the ancient path and the good way

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is…”

Jeremiah 6:16
A footpath through the woods. Be better at making decisions.

The Lord is saying ask for the ancient path, so that means that not everything old is bad!

Where are the ancient paths?
The ancient paths and the good way, is found in the ancient Book:

I meditate on your ancient laws; O LORD, they comfort me.”

Psalm 119:52

Moses told the people:

So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you;
do not turn aside to the right or to the left.
Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”

Deuteronomy 5:32-33

Trust in the Lord when making decisions

If we are putting God first in our lives then we can believe and trust that in His time He will steer us in the right direction.

That doesn’t mean we opt out of making decisions, because in all the choices we make we can trust that they are right.
And if we do take a wrong direction we can have the confidence to know that He will make that clear to us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

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