5 Ways to Become More Decisive About LifeFebruary 20, 2014
The most gut-wrenching, head-splitting moments for me personally have been those moments when I tinkered back and forth on the edge of a decision with hesitant and melancholy momentum. James, the half-brother of Jesus, declared in his letter, “For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed…A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8).
Confession time: I have been that double-minded man. I am not speaking doctrinally, I am speaking practically. I have been tossed on life’s sea while desperately riding the ship called Uncertain. Who among us has not been plagued by the terms “I don’t know” “maybe” “we’ll see” and “not sure”? I have met the night restlessly in my bed weighing the results, measuring the outcomes, and miserably falling short of having an answer. I have, on some occasions, caught myself adamantly looking one way while thinking of another. Double-minded means exactly what it sounds like, and it is not pretty. As Adrian Rogers used to say, “Anything with two heads is a freak.”
Perhaps more succinctly, James said the double-minded man is unstable. He is quite literally insecure, timid, and doubtful about his particular path. If you have ever been torn in the decision-making process you understand the force of James’ words. You know what it is like to wrestle with the wave that tosses your soul from the “yea’s” to the “nay’s”.
So the question lingers…how can we be more decisive? How do we avoid the dreaded path of the double-minded man?
1. Have a Core Set of Values and Principles by Which You Live.
For the believer, this is none other than the Word of God. When you know what God has said about a particular matter, there is no reason for you to be indecisive about it. There are certain issues in life that are clearly resolved by Scripture. I like what William Gurnall said, “Blind zeal is put to a shameful retreat, while holy resolution, built on fast principles, lifts up its head like a rock in the midst of the waves.” When we build our life on the foundation of God’s Word, we will not be tossed about when the flood comes.
2. Prioritize and Recognize the Most Important Things in Your Life.
There are some things that I cannot afford to be uncertain about. My faith, my family, my ministry, my church, my testimony, and my health cannot be jeopardized by indecision. When I properly prioritize the most important things I am less likely to live with hesitancy.
3. Plan Things Thoroughly and in Advance.
Alan Lakein said, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now.” Think about it, when you give much attention and thought to things in advance, you are more prone to stick with that particular plan of action. For example, if I plan my vacation six months in advance, I am less likely to want to go somewhere else when the summer gets here. Planning reduces stress, worry, and ultimately indecision.
4. Have an Accountability System in Place
Allow others to know what you are doing. Stay accountable to your spouse, your children, and your church. Stay focused and resolved concerning your goals and aspirations. Intentionally install accountability systems all around you to prevent you from wavering.
5. Refuse to be Idle and Apathetic.
I am introspective by nature. I like to take my time to meditate, reflect, and properly weigh things out. However, there is a difference between being introspective and being idle. Idleness and laziness are distant cousins. Sometimes indecision comes from being a poor manager of time, resources, and life itself. Stay on guard, be on the offensive, and refuse the apathetic, unresolved path of life.