by Dean Herring
When it comes to making purchases I am a research guy. Before I reach the store I use my computer to research the product and check out reviews that help me determine what my best purchase would be. Recently I bought Susie a double-oven range for Christmas. When I went to make the purchase, a salesman approached me and asked if I needed help. I responded with the brand and the model that I intended to buy. It was a quick transaction because my decision had already been made in the quietness of my home. I experienced no pressure from the salesman or indecision caused by the other choices that were available to me. If you wait until purchase time to make your mind up, someone else is going to help make that decision for you.
One of the verses that has made a lasting impact on me is Proverbs 11:30 “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” An upright man has already made up his mind to do the right thing before he ever faces the situation. His decision is made in the quietness of his walk with God, and the integrity of that decision becomes his guide. A transgressor is someone with no respect for boundaries. He has no regard for the consequences or the importance of the choices he makes. He allows the situation to determine his ethics.
It is easier to make decisions when you have predetermined principles in place, rather than deciding in the emotion of the moment. We need to make up our mind before we have to make up our mind. We should determine what our decision will be in the privacy of our walk with God, away from the passion and pressure of predicaments and people – before crunch time arrives.
Many years ago I read Jonathan Edwards seventy resolutions that he had made, and I felt impressed to make some determinations for my own life. I arrived at these determinations at different times in my life – often when facing situations that challenged the principles by which I lived. I don’t share these to impress you or to suggest that you copy and paste them. My hope is that you will be encouraged to predetermine some guiding principles that will lead you in a plain and principled path.
• Determined to be daily in His Word and before His throne.
• Determined to put my relationship with The Lord above all other relationships.
• Determined to value influence more than opportunities.
• Determined to be led by the Spirit rather than intimidated by man.
• Determined that I have nothing to prove; I have Someone to please.
• Determined that I will not use my Christian liberty as a tool of divisiveness.
• Determined that I will show love to the lost, mercy to the prodigal, forgiveness to the offender, and grace to fellow Believers.
• Determined to pray for wisdom enough to hear those who lead, and humility enough to listen to those who follow.
• Determined that my priorities will always be: Jesus before others before me.
• Determined to never lessen the importance of the church that Jesus died for.
• Determined to live my life as a giver, yet always remain grateful for what I receive.
• Determined to love my wife, to the best of my ability, as Christ loved the church, and to lead my children and my grandchildren in the way that they should go.
• Determined to earnestly seek forgiveness from those that I have wronged, and restoration with those who have wronged me .
• Determined to be more concerned with being a friend than having a friend.
• Determined that I will seek to advance His kingdom rather than my own.
• Determined to not fall prey to hearsay, innuendo, or scuttlebutt, but to be man enough to go to the source.
• Determined that I will not fall victim to either compliments or criticism.
• Determined to find the humor in life, lest I become infected by reality.
• Determined to approach life as a student rather than as a professor.
• Determined to be a good steward of my health, lest my service suffer from my negligence.
I have verses that clearly led me to each of these life determinations, and I cannot over-emphasize the importance of the Word of God in our decision making process. It is the Lamp unto our feet and the Light that illuminates our path. Without it we are left to our own human philosophy, or to the expectations of others – both of which are very flimsy vantage points for making a right decision. There is great security and peace in making decisions that you know are Spirit-led. Include Him before a decision has to be made, and you’ll have no regrets once you’ve made it.
by Dean Herring
Original article can be found here.