so many ways to make decisions

Some people make decisions with the greatest of ease. Some people find decision making to be challenging. I’m one of the latter.

Of course, good sincere followers of Christ want God’s will and to make decisions biblically — that includes reading the Bible, praying, and seeking counsel from wise mature Christians. Yet different people give different counsel.

Biblical Decision Making Steps: Discovering God’s Will Through Biblical Decision Making has 10 steps. So does the pragmatic non-religious website in its “How to make decisions“. To contrast, 4 Keys to Good Decision Making: How to Use Good Judgment in Decision Making has 4 keys.

This book, Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View by Garry Friesen, got notable attention when it first came out in 1981; a 2nd revised edition published in 2004. The Decision Making and the Will of God website has more info about Friesen’s concepts, and unpacks the traditional view about God’s will and also has a list of other books about decision making. A Review by Greg Gilbert posted at summarizes Friesen’s concepts.

So, while the resources above give a spiritual framework towards decision making, there may be more aspects involved in making a decision.

That is, there are many different methods and approaches to decision making, beyond the spiritual preparation. links to 17 Decision making techniques, including methods called Pareto Analysis, Grid Analysis, Decision Trees, Six Thinking Hats.

What it comes down to is that life is constantly throwing many opportunities my way and I have to decide what to do. I can use all the spiritual resources available to me, and even using a suitable method to sift through the options, yet the right decision doesn’t get cranked out like an algebraic equation, a la solve for X.

There’s only so much time any of us have. At the end of the day, I have to decide. Some decisions will turn out great. Some not so much. Both are times of learning. God help us all.

How have you become a better decision maker?

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5 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    I remind myself of the times when indecision has cost me more than a bad decision would have. Which do the people in your life tolerate more from you: a mistake, or a perceived attitude of not caring? (Which is what indecision is often interpreted as.)

  2. Noah Kaye says:

    Great post! By far, the greatest stuff that I have ever interacted with on decision making is by a Mennonite Leader by the name of Mervin Charles. Fantastic stuff that he wrote. I posted several times about it on my blog in Mid-October. Click here:

  3. Cool story: I recently got to hang out with Friesen at his home in Portland. Great guy and great book! I like what you said, “At the end of the day, I have to decide… Both are times of learning.”

  4. Daniel Im says:

    Great Post – DJ, are you making a big decision right now? Or did you just want to blog on this subject? 🙂

    For myself, every time I make a decision, I always ask myself – is this in line with God's vision for my life? We only have so many hours every day and we can't say yes to everything, so that is how I determine how to spend my time.

  5. djchuang says:

    @Daniel, I've been wanting to blog about this, but couldn't decide when 😉

    I 've never liked making decisions, whether small or big, simple or complex. Never liked it, don't think I will. i've figured out how to order off a menu pretty quick now. Life decisions and even daily to do's are still stressful to me