Have you ever made a decision, big or small, that you were unsure about only to find later it was the wrong decision? Maybe it was the wrong choice for dinner, the wrong shirt to wear, the wrong meeting to miss, or maybe even the wrong turn to make on the way home. Maybe it was something bigger, something that you knew was wrong, but you did it anyway.
Why do people make bad decisions? We see it everywhere and we see it in ourselves. Whether the decision is big or small, we all make mistakes and we all, for some reason, KEEP making bad decisions.
Paul Said It Best
Making wrong decisions in life, throughout life, isn’t something new to the human race. Again, everyone makes bad choices, wrong decisions, and mistakes. Granted, some more than others, but we all do it. But why? Why do people make bad decisions?
The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 7:15: “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate”. That sums it up very well. We know that the right thing is to do, deep down or maybe even on the surface, we want to do the right thing, but inevitably we do what we know is wrong.
In Romans 7:14-25, Paul explains precisely the struggles we have every day in making the right decisions. We want to do what is right, we know what is right, when we do right we feel good about it, but we end up doing wrong. Why?
Who Are You Listening To?
Why is doing wrong so easy? It is a matter of who you are allowing to lead your decisions. The struggle we all deal with, the very struggle Paul himself dealt with, is not whether or not we know what to do, but who we allow to persuade the final decisions we are making.
Think of it like this. Have you ever struggled with something and asked advice from a friend or family member? Maybe it worked out, maybe it didn’t. But it was a gamble and you probably knew it AND felt it. Have you ever made a decision on your own without seeking anyones advice? Of course you have, we all have. Still, there was the feeling of gambling when you didn’t know the real right choice.
We all forget all too often that the ultimate guide to life is God himself. He as given us the specific directions to make choices in our lives that are not detrimental to His ultimate purpose for us. Proverbs 3:6 tells us; “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. I’m not sure the direction can be made much clearer than that.
I Know How to Do This……………
Overconfidence…………generally our first mistake. We either get overconfident and believe we do not need the help of anyone, or we panic and ask for help from the wrong people. In either case, whether you “think” you know what to do or if you “think” you know “who” to go to, if you aren’t first consulting with God, you’ve made the wrong choice. It’s as simple as that.
All too often in the daily rush of our everyday lives, we lose focus on who is really in control of absolutely everything going on around us. Sure, Satan has a big influence on our lives today, however satans influence is only as strong as we allow it to be. And when we begin making decisions without first seeking the council of God, that is satan’s opportunity to swoop in and “help” us with those decisions.
Not seeking Gods direction is much like going straight to satan himself, bypassing God, and asking for his council on a particular issue you are dealing with. How offensive is that to God!! And likely after doing that, the outcome of any decision you make will not be good ones.
1st Thessalonians 5:17 states “Pray without ceasing”. If we follow the guidance of this bible verse, we can seek God’s direction continually.
We will Still Make Mistakes
God will test our faith. What may seem like a mistake could be a test of faith. Job was tested when God allowed satan to take away everything Job had from his family to all of his material possessions. Job remained steadfast in his faith to God but his friends and even his wife accused him saying he must have done something, made some mistake, that ultimately caused God to punish him. In reality, it was God testing his faith all along.
God tested Abraham when He commanded Abraham to take his one and only son and use the boy as a burnt sacrifice. Ultimately, God stopped him from harming his son but Abraham, through faith, went to carry out the sacrifice just as God instructed. At the time, this may have seemed like a mistake, a bad decision, but in reality Abraham followed God’s direction and everything worked out fine.
Seeking God’s direction will still lead us to make, what seem like, mistakes all along our path of life. But are they mistakes or are they tests? Quite possibly, they are God’s way of keeping us on track to make the decisions that ultimately lead us down the path He wishes for us to be on.
Ask God – ONLY God
God has a plan for all of us. When we take it upon ourselves to take our lives in our own hands and lead ourselves based on what we believe is right, we are gambling with fire……….literally. God wants to help each and every one of us. He want’s us to be perfect in every way, sinless, and in the image of His son. But in reality, that isn’t possible. We are all infected with this sin virus and we are all sinners.
Romans 3:10 says “None is righteous, no not one”. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God”.
In other words, no-one is perfect. No one fits the bill that God requires for us to get into heaven, period. The one and only way to meet His criteria is through His perfect son Jesus Christ.
We have to come to the point in our lives where we realize that we can’t make our own decisions to get into Heaven. There is absolutely nothing we can do, no matter how good we think we are, that we can do on our own and outside of the guidance of God himself that will get us into Heaven. Once we accept that we are sinners, we accept Jesus as our savior, and believe with all our heart and soul that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we then become saved. Nothing we can do on our own, no decision we make, no “help” we seek out other than God himself, will put us on the path God himself wants us to be on.
Billy Graham had one of the simplest of sinners prayers that has let thousands of people to become saved. Say that prayer below and get started on your path to making the right decisions and welcoming the tests of faith God will send your way.
“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”