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When You Have Two Good Choices
An email arrived from a friend with a question that came up during a discussion time with some young women--most of them in their early 20s. All the young women are single. Here is the question that came up during the discussion:
"How do you make decisions in life when both roads seem to be good?" We were talking about having a "willing spirit", and I asked them if there was anything God was asking them to do and if their answer would be yes to whatever he was asking of them. Some of them are faced with future decisions and not sure how to come about with making those decisions, especially like I said before that both roads seem good. I think they just don't want to make a "wrong" decision. Thoughts?
This is a nice kind of question compared to a lot of things people ask me. The real answer is that with the Lord, when your heart is truly willing and open, there are no "wrong" decisions. Sometimes we get hung up on doing the "perfect" will of God and being in the "center" of his will. While I understand what those phrases mean, they are not describing a biblical perspective. The truth is, you can't know in advance how your decisions will turn out. Sometimes (often) we choose to go in one direction only to find out later that it didn't work out the way we expected. And sometimes we seem to foul up only to discover that God uses that difficult time to deepen our walk with him and ultimately to get us where he wants us to be.
The only thing God wants from us is an open heart to do his will. And if our hearts are open, when faced with two "good" choices, and when we have prayed, meditated, studied Scripture, considered the circumstances, weighed the pros and cons and sought godly counsel, when all of that is true and both options still seem good to you, well then, just close their eyes, take a deep breath, and then go and do whichever one you prefer. After all, God is perfectly able to lead us forward when we are willing to be led.
Sometimes we waste enormous energy seeking something God never promised. We want a guarantee. We want to know it's all going to work out. We want all the uncertainty taken away. After preaching on this a few years ago, a man came up and said, "What you're saying is, 'We've still got to choose.'" Bingo! We've still got to choose. It's going to be Wisconsin or Washington, dental school or the Army, Georgia Tech or Wheaton, Mike or John Mark, an SUV or a Mini-Cooper, a Mac or a PC, buying a new house or fixing up the one you have. You choose this doctor and that treatment and not some other doctor or some other treatment. And so it goes through all the decisions of life.
Knowing God's will can never remove the uncertainty--nor should it. The uncertainty is good for us because it keeps us trusting and praying, it keeps us from being overly self-confident.
When your heart is right and you are faced with two good choices, take either one you like. And trust God with the result. If the heart is willing, the decisions of life will take care of themselves because God will direct your steps exactly where he wants you to be.
Final word. It all goes back to your view of God.
Is he sovereign?Is he good?Can I trust him?
It's not about your decisions, and it's not about your future, and it's not even about you. It's all about God. When we start from that perspective, we can make our decisions even in times of doubt and uncertainty, and we can sleep well at night knowing that our God will put all the pieces together in exactly the right way.
Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries and author of And When You Pray. He has ministered extensively overseas and is a frequent conference speaker and guest on Christian radio and television talk shows. He has authored over 27 books, including Credo, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul, and Why Did This Happen to Me?