Have you heard the phrase, “Being in the moment”? Professional golf players often employ this technique. Golf requires total concentration on every shot taken. A golfer cannot let his performance on the last hole—the one where he drove the ball into the water hazard or sand trap—influence his next shot. If your mind is still dwelling on your last errant shot, then it impedes what you do on the present shot.
We encounter similar situations in our Christian life. Occasionally when we make mistakes, we dwell on them so much that it hinders our present circumstances. We’re not “in the moment.”
We should use this “being in the moment” concept to help us make decisions in our day-to-day Christian lives. The Apostle Paul talked about this concept in Hebrews 12:1—“[L]et us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Picture a golfer lining up for a shot on the fairway. First, he has to judge the distance to the green. The wind will play a factor, so he also has to adjust his shot according to the velocity and the direction of the wind. Next, he has to choose the right club or iron. Finally, he has to know the lay of the course. Are there sand traps? Are there trees that may deflect his shot? What about water hazards or uneven terrain? How hard does he want the club face to hit the ball? What kind of surface is he playing off of? Most importantly, he has to have complete concentration on the shot process.
That is being in the moment.
Our Christian life is much the same way. When we are faced with a situation in life that requires a decision to be made, we have to concentrate on the moment at hand. We cannot be indecisive. I am mostly referring to situations that crop up on a daily basis.
The inability to make right decisions can be a major cause of personal problems. Everyone needs wisdom to make better decisions. Every move we make during the day requires the right decision. Making right decisions is not a matter of chance. Success in making correct decisions depends on basic, identifiable factors and using the right principles in making those decisions.
Here are three principles on how to make right decisions.
1. Ask God for overall direction and wisdom.
In golf, a golfer may have a caddie. The caddie is there to assist; he guides the golfer throughout the course. Occasionally the golfer may need help and guidance on what club to use or where to place the ball. These are decisions he has to make, but the caddie may provide insight. In our Christian life we have Jesus Christ to guide and lead us in all of our decisions. We must be instant in prayer to ask Him (Romans 12:12). Follow the advice given in James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him.”
2.Get all the facts—make sure you have all the vital information needed before you decide anything.
Occasionally over the years I have purchased older, classic automobiles and restored them to sell for a profit. I always had to do some research so that I would not lose money when I sold it. I asked a number of questions: Can I buy the car at a good price? How much will the repairs cost? Will it be worth the labor to turn around and sell this for a good enough profit? Is there a market for the automobile? Before embarking on a major decision, get all the facts!
3.Be willing to change, and don’t rush into anything.
Back to the golf analogy. When I golf, I determine what club or iron I want to use at each shot. However, sometimes when I step up to that ball and evaluate it further, I realize that it may be more beneficial to use a different club. For example, I may think I can reach the green with a nine-iron but after carefully gauging the distance I decide an eight-iron will carry the distance. We have to be willing to change sometimes when it comes to making decisions.
Once you have followed the above principles, you can confidently arrive at a definite course of action. You’ve asked God for wisdom. You’ve checked all the facts and looked at the problem from every angle. You’ve sought counsel and you know that you are not making a snap judgment. Now you can make a firm commitment.
Now, stick to your decision. Stand by it and work diligently to the desired end. If you have acted in accord with God’s laws and followed all the steps, you can have faith in the decision.
By determining to put into practice God’s laws as they apply to any situation, you have made God your partner. Trust your decision. Trust God. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Go forth and make good decisions!