I recently wrote a post about being unsettled and finding encouragement in I Peter 5:10 to get through those seasons where you are anxious, confused, stuck in the mud, and lacking direction. Being in a season of unsettling this year and I have had to cling to The Lord like never before.
If you find yourself in a season of unsettling you know how hard it can be to make decisions. If you aren't in a season of unsettling you know how hard it can be to make decisions!
Should I make this career move or that?
Which homeschool curriculum should I pick for my child?
Should we have more kids?
What college should I choose?
Should I cut my hair short or keep it long? (Well, this last one may not be a huge life changing decision but you see what I mean.)
Decisions can be difficult to make whatever season of life you find yourself.
When The Lord asked Solomon in 1 Chronicles 1 for his heart's desire, Solomon asked for wisdom.
I would have asked for a million dollars or maybe a size two pant size! 😊 But not Solomon . . . wisdom.
The older I get, I see how asking for wisdom was a genius move on Solomon's part. We are faced with decisions every single day and we need God’s wisdom to make the best choices for ourselves, and our families.
During seasons of unsettling, our emotions can get the best of us and we tend to make knee-jerk decisions based on whatever mood or emotion we are carrying at the time. Making a decision based off of emotion during a season where we are unsettled does not make for a good outcome.
We need to start making "God-decisions" and not just “good-decisions" no matter the season of life.
James 3:15-18 give us the answers in how to make decisions using God's wisdom and not man's.
“For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
James 3:15-18 NLT
Man’s Wisdom is...
1. Based on jealousy.
Making a decision out of jealousy or perhaps even coveting something someone else has is man’s wisdom and it only produces disorder, chaos, and evil of all kinds.
2. Based on Selfishness.
I recently went through this kind of wordly decision making. I had to choose a homeschool curriculum for my first-grade son. I wanted a full curriculum kit - something that was already planned for me. All of the subjects, lesson plans, workbooks, and worksheets would be packaged in a cute little box that sat waiting for me to open on the first day of school.
It’s not that I can’t write my own curriculum or lesson plans. I have a degree in education. I can totally do it, but it takes so much time; time I don’t have running two business and taking care of a seven-year-old, a dog, and a home.
So I went to our local homeschool store determined to walk out with a full curriculum in a box. The lady helping me suggested just the opposite. She sat with Asher and played some games with him. She asked him some questions and listened to his answers. After ten minutes with Asher, she said the best thing for my son would be two or three different curriculum options that I would put together . . . not the full curriculum box!
No!!! I don’t have the time. But it’s the best for him, Erika, whispered The Lord.
But I wanted a cute little box that I could open on the first day of school! Who are you doing this for? You or Asher?, whispered The Lord.
I was about to make a selfish decision and while it would have looked good wrapped up in its cute little curriculum box, it would have led to disorder in my home. So I stay up later a few nights of the week and spend my Sunday afternoons planning curriculum . . . but it’s best for Asher.
If man’s wisdom is full of selfishness and jealousy, God’s Wisdom is just the opposite.
Wisdom that comes from God is . . .
Is your decision going to harm you or another in any way? Is it free from anything toxic? God can only be pure so the wisdom coming from Him must be the same way.
When you are faced with choice A or B think which one brings peace? Not just a selfish peace like I faced with the curriculum. But peace from above . . . even if it doesn’t appear to be peaceful on the surface.
Does your the wisdom you are working with produce gentleness of mind and spirit? Is it considerate and understanding? Will it bring compassion? If not, it is probably not God’s wisdom.
The other day my coworker and I had to decide on an element for our set design. (We own and operate a non-profit community theater). I wanted it one way . . . he the other. Neither way was wrong, but his way was easier (if I am being honest! Don't tell him I said that!).
I just didn’t want to admit that his way was easier because “I was right”.
So in that moment of “my way or the highway”, The Lord dropped this verse in my heart and I remembered the part about Godly wisdom being submissive.
In this particular case, I submitted to my coworker's ideas and the result was peace!
5. Full of Mercy and Blessings.
God’s wisdom is merciful. Sometimes people don’t deserve mercy. They deserve the hammer, the wrath, the anger . . . man’s wisdom. God’s wisdom brings mercy even to those who don’t deserve it.
God’s wisdom brings blessing to your life and those around you. In my curriculum decision, the blessings on my son’s life because of the choice I made will effect his whole school year and hopefully, the blessings of the lessons he learns will be the reward for using God’s wisdom in making that decision.
6. Shows No favoritism.
Perhaps you have a decision to make regarding your children. Will your choice show favoritism to one or the other? God's wisdom has no favorites. It is pure and fair.
7. Always Sincere.
Is your decision real and genuine? Is it without lies and hypocrisy?
If man’s wisdom produces disorder and evil of every kind, James 3:17-18 says God’s wisdom produces peace and righteousness . . . harvests of righteousness.
If you are in a place in life where you must make a major decision, I encourage you to seek God’s wisdom in making your decisions. So often we make choices out of emotion, jealousy, and even selfishness. The only thing that leads to is chaos! It isn’t worth it.
Use God’s wisdom to make your decisions and you will reap peace and righteousness.
When have you made a decision using God's wisdom? How did it turn out? I'd love to hear and connect with you in the comments below!