Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."

I'm reminded that choices are powerful. The choices we make today, determine our life tomorrow. Here are some of the basic matrix I use for making a decision in my own life. These also inform the way we make decisions at BridgeWay.

1. What are My Bedrock Beliefs?
Simply put, what does the Bible say about the issue and what am I convinced is the ethical thing to do. Some of my bedrock beliefs are:
~ I have been called to be the Spiritual Leader of my family. How does this impact my family.
~ Because I lead people, others will follow my example. What does this decision say to others.
~ The local church is the hope of the world.
~ God loves everyone, Christians, non-Christians, easy to love people, and difficult people.
~ God will equip us to accomplish what he has called us to do.
2. What Would Other Leaders Do?
There are a number other leaders in my life, some I know personally, others I only know through reading their writings. One of the ways I've learned to make successful decisions is to consider, "What would _______________ do in this situation?"
3. What Does My Past Pain Tell Me?
This one informs my decisions more than I'd like it to sometimes. You slam your hand in the car door once, you never forget the pain. Most of us have pretty extensive pain banks in our minds which inform our decision making. Unfortunately, some of us don't learn the first time and continue to smash are fingers long after we should have learned our lesson.
4. What Does the Holy Spirit Tell Me?
Too many people start with this one first. There is a reason why I put it last. Often people pray, "God show me what to do." Then they wait to see what they "feel" like God is telling them to do. THIS IS A SUREFIRE WAY TO FOLLOW A WAY THAT SEEMS RIGHT TO A MAN! Praying and acting without first seeking God's direction from is Word is a receipt for disaster. The primary way that God speaks is through the Bible. The primary way the Holy Spirit speaks is through the Bible. Our decision making needs to start there first. I'm not underestimating the roll of the Holy Spirit, I'm simply suggesting that we start with Scripture, move to talking with other Godly leaders, consider our past experiences, and then listen for what the Holy Spirit is saying through all of these.

How do you go about making decisions? Do you have a plan or a process? How often do you just pray and hope that you heard God correctly, rather than search God's Word? What have been the results?
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