How to Make Good Decisions

Over the past several months, I have worked hard to create the Branch United Youth Choir. On my mind has been all the decisions I’ve got to make in the coming months. A lot of questions have cropped up. When do I send out invitations? How do I recruit? Who do I contact, and when should I contact them?

I need to confess something. I love making big decisions. I joyfully develop long-term goals. It is easy for me, and I even find it fun. When I was in college, I would spend hours combing through the course catalog so that I could plan my classes for every semester in advance. I was able to take extra classes that weren’t in my major because of this. Even though I was completely off the catalog’s schedule, I graduated on time with all my credits completed.

Small decisions are not as fun, however. The biggest problems can come from small decisions. That molehill suddenly morphs into a mountain and throws you for a loop. You find yourself obsessing about a small decision. What happens if I apply here and not there? How do I word this e-mail? Who do I ask for help?  These small decisions crop up at times. They distress you if you are not careful.

I am going to share with you a method for making good decisions. I learned this from an excellent teacher I had back in undergrad. I have used this many times, and it hasn’t failed me yet. I’m not going to say that I am a pro at it. The Lord knows I am still learning just like everyone else.

Step 1: Is it right or wrong?

This is an extremely important question. If it’s wrong, you don’t do it. If it’s right, you are free to do it. Once you decide on the morality of something, you can then move on to step two.

Step 2: Is it appropriate?

Will my decision fit the occasion? You don’t typically wear a clown suit at a funeral or a wedding. Unless, of course, a clown has passed away or two clowns are marrying one another or something. Anyway, in another context, a clown suit might be the perfect thing to wear.

Step 3: Is it expedient?

If something is morally right and appropriate, it does not always follow that you should do it. Maybe now is not the right time. Do you think the decision you want to make the best course of action at present?

I’m going to add a few more questions of my own to this system.

Did I get advice?

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14, KJV). It is prudent to get input from wise, knowledgeable people. This one thing has saved my keister more times than I can count. Be careful, though. Not all advice—even from a wise person—will be the right call 100% of the time. Advisers advise, but deciders decide. You ultimately must make the decision.

Did I count the cost?

You usually can tell the outcome of a decision. Are you prepared to accept its consequences? If you are, you can live through the good times or the tough times that follow the decision.

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