In a world driven by information and analysis, it’s easy to fall into the trap of relying solely on our own understanding when making decisions. We pride ourselves on thorough research, weighing pros and cons, and seeking the most rational choices.
But what if there is something missing from this process? What if by leaving God out of our decision-making, we are limiting ourselves and missing out on His divine guidance?
I want to explore the significance of not only including God in our decision-making process but letting Him be King over it and the transformative impact it can have on our lives. I take a lot of pride in how I arrive at decisions because I put a tremendous amount of thought and research into them.
God has blessed me with a love for research, coupled with an analytical mind and I believe that He has wired me this way for His purpose. However, I’ve realized that I can easily distort and destroy God’s intended purpose for my decision-making by relying solely on my own understanding through analytical research to draw conclusions. This self-reliance can make it difficult for me to make a decision.
Decision Making Traps: Watch Out For Pitfalls
There is one specific pitfall I want to discuss and that is when we lean far too much on our own understanding. Personally, I have found this to lead me down a path of unease (or dis-ease), where I get stuck, unable to make a decision, or find peace with my decisions.
This phenomenon is commonly known as analysis paralysis. In our quest for making the “right” decision, we succumb to endless research, constant second-guessing, and excessive comparison, leaving us stressed, discontented, overwhelmed, and unable to make a choice due to the abundance of options.
It can be paralyzing.
Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart: Cabin Fever & A Lesson In Trust
Let me share a personal experience to illustrate this point. My family and I decided to take a summer vacation in the mountains. Initially, I did some minimal research on hotels, read reviews, compared prices, and booked a hotel. I thought I had made a decision.
Then, as I was telling someone about the trip, they said, “You’re not going to stay in a cabin?” Little did they know that they just opened the door to Pandora’s box, as I started to rethink our plans. Doubt started to creep in, “Shouldn’t we be staying in a cabin for that authentic mountain experience?”
I started searching for cabins online, exploring numerous websites and filtering options on platforms like VRBO and Airbnb. In the midst of my search, I realized that I hadn’t sought God’s direction in any of this. The more I researched, the more paralyzed I became.
I couldn’t find a cabin that checked off all our boxes.
What started as simple preferences for a good Wi-Fi connection and an outdoor deck soon escalated to irrational fears, like thinking that I had to find a cabin where a bear couldn’t come eat my children because my kids would be sleeping in guest bedrooms on the ground floor that had direct door access to the outside (because you never know when your child might sleepwalk in the middle of the night, open that door and find themselves face-to-face with our not-so-friendly, furry friend).
I even convinced myself that we needed a cabin closer to the “right” hospital in case of emergencies. The process consumed me, and I spent a few sleepless nights and nearly twelve hours searching through hundreds of cabins, canceling two prior reservations in the process.
Finally, I found a cabin that seemed “right,” but doubts haunted me: “Was this truly the ‘right’ decision? Or could my reliance on my own understanding be fueling my anxiety and discontent?”
Forgive me if this all sounds so vain. I know vacation is not exactly a life or death situation and I don’t want to overlook the blessing that it is. But this incident made me realize that my struggle with decision control and analysis paralysis wasn’t limited to vacation cabins.
It was manifesting in other areas of my life as well. Instead of putting my trust and confidence in God’s guidance, I had been relying on my decision-making process and my own choices.
Incorporating God into our decision-making is a challenging endeavor. Often, I think our initial mistake lies in trying to incorporate Him into our decision-making or our own will, when in fact, it should be the other way around.
Rather than seeking to bring Him into our will and our plans, shouldn’t we strive to be in His? This shift requires humility, surrender, and a willingness to let go of our desires and decision-making. It’s not an easy task, especially for those of us who enjoy being in control.
However, as we take small steps to trust in the Lord and actively seek His will, we will witness the straightening of our paths, and our decisions will align with His purpose. Ultimately, in this alignment, we will discover all the good gifts God has in store for us, particularly the invaluable gift of His peace.
Bible Verse About Trusting God
Let us remember the words of Proverbs 3:5-6:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."
This experience taught me that my decision problem wasn’t about over-researching or planning. It wasn’t about vacation or cabins either. It was really about the positioning of my heart.
Originally published on STAR 99.1/STAR 93.3. Pillar Ministries.