• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Take your time

Last week, I shared a diagram about the different processes that team members might use to work through a decision (see the post: “Dig deeper”).  A question came to mind later: is it more biblical to take your time in making a decision?  In other words, are ‘quick’ decisions lesstake-the-time-fi well thought through or sustained by less prayer?

The answer is not a simple yes or no.  It is much more nuanced and shaped by the following elements:

Time

In any decision, we need to begin by asking the question as to how much time is needed to make the decision.  Deciding what restaurant to go to as a team for a team outing should not take a week of discussion.  However, deciding to change the strategy and direction of the ministry cannot be determined by an hour long discussion.  Establishing the time boundaries of any decision helps focus our energies towards making the right decision in the right time frame.

Opportunity

A decision may be motivated by a unique opportunity that presents itself to us.  This opportunity is time bound in some ways.  If we take an inordinate amount of time to process, it could mean that we would miss this divine opportunity.  However, an opportunity allows us to ask the question as to whether we should or should not respond to that opportunity.  The refugee crisis in Europe would be an example of such a divine opportunity that presented itself to many workers and teams in Europe.  Some of us ‘missed’ the opportunity, while others chose not to respond to the opportunity because it wasn’t where the Lord was leading them to invest their resources.

Heart Conviction

A decision, in our context, is always processed with prayer.  Prayer is a vital part of any decision making process.  However, when have we prayed enough to be able to move forward or make a decision?  Once again, this is not an easy question to answer. However, the question can call us back to our need to ‘go on’ in prayer for God’s wisdom and leading, if the heart conviction is not there. On the other hand, the question can also ferret out a spiritualized attempt to stall a discussion or decision.  This is where decision making can get ‘tricky’ as we need to listen well to others and seek to discern our heart convictions.

Decisions (made slowly or quickly) are an opportunity for God to work on our hearts and change us as we seek to ‘change the world’ around us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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