Series 2 - Bible Answers for...
Hello, friends! Welcome to this Bible study lesson on "Decision Making."
The main focus of the Bible is on helping us make godly choices in our
spiritual lives. But the wise principles given in the Bible can help us
in making good decisions in every area of our lives. Some decisions have
a clear right and wrong choice, but for those decisions with an array
of options, these biblical principles can help us identify and choose
the best ones.
We hope this lesson will give you practical and helpful information you
can use in your everyday life. We wish you all the best in all your decision
Lesson: Decision Making
We face decisions every day. How can we determine the best choices to make, especially in the big decisions and the ones that seemingly have no clear answer?
It's interesting to consider the decisions Abram (later called Abraham)
and Lot made in a conflict situation and the outcomes of those decisions.
The story is told in Genesis 13:5-15 (New Living Translation):
"Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also very wealthy with
sheep, cattle, and many tents. But the land could not support both Abram
and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. There
were too many animals for the available pastureland. So an argument
broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. At that time Canaanites
and Perizzites were also living in the land.
"Then Abram talked it over with Lot. ‘This arguing between our herdsmen
has got to stop,' he said. ‘After all, we are close relatives! I'll
tell you what we'll do. Take your choice of any section of the land
you want, and we will separate. If you want that area over there, then
I'll stay here. If you want to stay in this area, then I'll move on
to another place.'
"Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in
the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like
the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before
the Lord had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
"Lot chose that land for himself—the Jordan Valley to the east of them.
He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his
uncle Abram. So while Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, Lot moved
his tents to a place near Sodom, among the cities of the plain. The
people of this area were unusually wicked and sinned greatly against
"After Lot was gone, the Lord said to Abram, ‘Look as far as you can
see in every direction. I am going to give all this land to you and
your offspring as a permanent possession.'"
There's more to this story, of course. But it is interesting to note
that God blessed Abram's generous decision for peace. Lot, on the other
hand, did not see the spiritual danger he was putting his family in
by choosing the fertile but corrupt area of Sodom.
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What Does the Bible Say About Decision Making?
The Bible is especially designed to help us make the most important
decision, the decision to repent, change and follow Jesus Christ for the
rest of our lives (Acts 2:38; 1 John 2:6). God tells us to put Him first,
to obey Him and thus choose eternal life and blessings (Matthew 6:33;
All other decisions in life should contribute toward that ultimate decision
and goal. We must avoid decisions that will detract from putting God and
His righteousness first in our life.
But not every decision is a choice of good versus evil. Many of our daily
decisions have multiple acceptable options. Some of our biggest decisions
also have a variety of possible choices, like what career to pursue, who
to marry and where to live. Thankfully the Bible also gives us principles
that can help us identify and choose the best options. Let's explore biblical
wisdom to find some of those keys.
What is the starting point in finding wisdom?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise
wisdom and instruction.
So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding,
if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures;
then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge
For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
When we understand how great God is and see how small we are, we will
grow in a proper reverence and fear of God. That leads us to ask for His
guidance and to study His Bible to grow not just in knowledge but in understanding
of the principles behind those facts. Meditating on and applying that
biblical knowledge and understanding with God's Spirit leads to godly
So we seek wisdom when we fear God, pray for His help and study His Bible
to find principles that apply to the decisions we face.
How else does the Bible tell us to seek wisdom?
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors
there is safety.
Trusted experts and wise individuals can be a good source of advice.
Other people may see our problem from a different angle than we would,
allowing them to provide possible solutions we might not see.
How should we approach defining and understanding the problem—the
decision we face?
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on
and are punished.
He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous
A wise person carefully looks ahead to the end, trying to foresee the
likely long-term consequences, before making a decision to plunge ahead.
For an important decision, we must invest the time to get the facts,
to examine the situation more than superficially and to clearly define
the problem. When we are able to accurately state the problem or opportunity,
we will be able to see the shape of the ideal solution more clearly.
But determining how to get to that ideal solution can still be challenging.
Brainstorm for possible options and include the advice of the counselors
you are consulting.
So we end this phase of decision making with a clearly stated problem
and a list of possible solutions to choose from.
How should we make our decision?
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I
have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore
choose life, that both you and your descendants may live..."
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down
first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after
he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it
begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able
If a possible solution requires disobeying a biblical principle, delete
that option from your list. Then compare the remaining options with positive
biblical principles, wise advice from others, the likelihood of success
and the effects your decision will have on others. Carefully weigh the
pros and cons and "count the cost."
If the decision is still not clear, you may need to repeat some of the
fact-finding, brainstorming and wisdom-seeking steps. In the end, if there
are two or more options that seem equally good, you may have to just decide
and then act on your decision. Indecision and inaction can sometimes be
worse than a less-than-perfect solution (as long as it does not violate
When we strive to seek God's wisdom and follow biblical principles, we
can entrust our decisions and the worries that naturally accompany them
to God (Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 6:33-34).