May 24, 2024

5 Things You Should Know about Biblical Decision-Making

3 Min Read

Decisions, decisions, decisions. We all make a multitude of them just in a single day. Granted, some are seemingly mundane (regular or decaf?), while others are certainly much more life-impacting (Which college shall I attend? Shall I accept this job opportunity? Who shall I choose for my marriage partner?). In all of these, believers want God’s help and guidance. Though not an exhaustive list, here are five things every Christian should consider in making biblically sound decisions.

1. Biblical decision-making is based on the Bible.

In stating the obvious, the Bible is not just one voice among many equals from which we may choose. It is the sole source of infallible wisdom, counsel, direction, and advice. The Bible is not merely an information book; it is the very voice of our God, the same as if He were speaking it to us with His own breath (2 Tim. 3:16). Or, to put it another way, the Bible is not merely informational; it is relational. This is our loving heavenly Father giving us His guidance in our decision-making. Hence, any decision that is a clear violation of Scripture is not merely rejecting the Bible; it is rejecting our Father. And, inevitably, there will be consequences.

2. Biblical decision-making is prayerful.

Biblical decision-making is relational. God hears, cares, and answers. We are not merely researching an impersonal guidebook; we are asking for guidance from the guide Himself. We have a relationship with the Author. It is His wisdom; it is His counsel; and it is written for the sake of His children, for whom Jesus died and whom He has adopted and loves. He is delighted to give us aid when we ask.

Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matt. 7:9–11)

3. Biblical decision-making is consultational.

The Bible often commends making wise decisions by consulting the wisdom of others. “Plans are established by counsel” (Prov. 20:18). “With those who take advice is wisdom” (Prov. 13:10). Of course, the “others” must be godly, mature, biblically knowledgeable Christians who know us well. There is great benefit in consulting those who can confirm our decision or alert us to potential dangers, challenges, or other blind spots that we may not have considered. This is most often violated when those we consult are less mature or even non-Christian friends, who will often say what we want to hear. Hence, we follow the requirement of “biblically knowledgeable” since “the counsels of the wicked are deceitful” (Prov. 12:5).

4. Biblical decision-making is providential.

Biblical decision-making takes note of what God is doing in His sovereign providence as the God who is actively “preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions” (Westminster Shorter Catechism 11). This is certainly not the sole factor for determining God’s will in decision-making. Nevertheless, God can give us opportunities in answer to our prayers or His providence can direct us in a way we had not previously considered. God’s people can trust Him to guide us providentially as we look to Him in faith for guidance.

5. Biblical decision-making is a God-given and Bible-endorsed combination of these principles (and others) to be taken together.

One of the ways well-intentioned Christians make less-than-biblical decisions is by using one aspect of the process to the exclusion of all the others. The two most frequently employed “single source” solutions that people wrongly trust for finding God’s will are (1) thinking that we are infallible interpreters of God’s providence (“I saw this sign” or “I had this dream”) and (2) our feelings (“I just feel this is what God wants me to do”). When one of these are taken to the exclusion of all the others, the decision being made will be imbalanced. God has given all of His Word to be used together in His promising to help us with our decision-making.

The peace and confidence we have in our decision-making is that God loves us and will always accomplish His supreme purpose in every decision we make. And even if we “mess up”—while there may certainly be negative consequences for which we are wholly responsible—God will still oversee our life, with all our sins and mistakes, for our good and His glory. The peace and comfort we have shielding us from the howling winds of anxious fears is that He is still the God who, by His sovereign will, causes all things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).