There Is No Such Thing As a Perfect Decision
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:6 (ESV)
When I was working on my book The Best Yes, I surveyed people through Twitter and Facebook with this question: What do you think is the biggest reason people struggle to make decisions?
Overwhelmingly, fear was the answer.
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of failure
- Fear of getting hurt
- Fear of what others will think
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of missing out on something better
- Fear of making the wrong decision
I absolutely understand all these fears. I wrestle with them myself. And some wrestling with fear is good. It can keep us from making poor choices. For example, my kids’ fear of being restricted often keeps them from missing curfews.
That kind of wrestling with fear is good. But other times I still feel like I’m wrestling with fear to the point where I’m paralyzed from moving forward.
Do you have a decision to make right now where uncertainty is making you feel stuck?
I often suffer from “analysis paralysis” trying to figure out which choice is the perfect decision. And if I can’t discern the perfect choice I feel paralyzed.
Here’s a thought that keeps me from staying stuck: There is no such thing as a perfect decision.
Perfection is an illusion.
Are there good choices and bad choices? Yes, of course. But at this point in my life, I’m not getting tripped up as much in the good versus the bad decisions.
More often now, I find myself stuck between a good choice and another good choice, trying to figure out which one is perfect.
Should I let my girls take dance lessons they would love but that would require us to eat on the run? Or tell them no so we can have family dinners at home? Good and good.
Should I teach that Bible study every Tuesday night at church or be at home to help my kids with their homework? Good and good.
Should my 20-year-old daughter go on a date with the guy from our church or just keep things between them on a friendship level? Good and good.
What about bigger good and good things?
Should I go on a mission trip or to a marriage conference? Good and good.
Should I quit my job to start that ministry I keep talking about or bring more of a ministry-heart into my existing job? Good and good.
These good and good decisions happen every day. But here’s a secret answer you must know when trying to pick the perfect choice: There is no choice that will turn out perfectly in every way.
As long as you desire to please God with your decisions, no decision you make will be completely awful. Nor will any decision you make be completely awesome.
Every decision is a package deal of parts awful and awesome.
In other words, since there is no perfect choice, I don’t have to be paralyzed by the fear that I’m not making the exact right decision.
Again, I want to please God with this decision. Our key verse, Proverbs 3:6, promises that He will make our paths straight if we acknowledge Him in all we do. So I also want to demonstrate my trust in Him by actually making a decision — having made peace with the fact it won’t all be perfect.
There is no perfect job.
There is no perfect school.
There is no perfect spouse.
There is no perfect church.
There is no perfect way to raise kids.
There is no perfect decision.
Each of these choices will have just enough imperfections to make them some combination of good and not so good.
So here’s where the certainty is: My imperfections will never override God’s promises. God’s promises are not dependent on my ability to always choose well, but rather on His ability to use well.
Dear Lord, I trust You beyond any fear I have of making the wrong decision. Today, I hand over all my uncertainties to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you getting ready to make a decision? First, determine if your main desire is to honor God. Then, write out different roads you think this decision could lead you down. Make sure it’s leading you in the direction you truly want to go.