Three Steps to Make Wise Decisions

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You need something greater than simply intuition or gut feeling. You need absolute truth on which to base your decisions.

“A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe” (Proverbs 28:26 TLB).

We tend to make decisions frivolously, but the Bible gives a simple, workable plan on how to handle things differently. Whether it’s about career, marriage, finances, health, children, or the future, here are three principles from God’s Word for making wise decisions.

1. Pray for guidance.

Before you do anything else, get God’s perspective on the issue. Proverbs 28:26 says, “A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe” (TLB).

Have you ever made a foolish decision that you thought was the best thing to do at the time? We all get impressions, but they are just that -- impressions. They are not from God. They are from what you ate last night or just ideas that pop into your mind. You need something greater than simply intuition, gut feeling, or “I think.” You need absolute truth on which to base your decisions. You need God’s guidance, and you get that by praying and asking God for it.

2. Get the facts.

According to the Department of Labor, 90 percent of all new businesses fail within the first year, and of those that make it, 90 percent fail within the following five years. Why? Those businesses are based on what I call uneducated enthusiasm. They’ve got a great idea, but they don’t get the facts before they make decisions.

There is no contradiction between faith and fact, and it is wise to find out all you can before you make a decision. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:16, “Every prudent man acts with knowledge” (ESV), and in Proverbs 18:13, “What a shame -- yes, how stupid! -- to decide before knowing the facts!” (TLB).

3. Ask for advice.

Talk to somebody who’s made a similar decision. Talk to friends who know your weaknesses. Learn to ask for advice! Proverbs 24:6 says, “The more advice you get, the more likely you are to win” (GNT).

It is wise to learn from experience, but it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. You don’t have time to learn everything from personal experience. You don’t have time to make all the mistakes in life. Life is too short to learn everything by trial and error. But you can learn from others’ successes, and you can learn from others’ failures.

Talk It Over

  • Which of the three steps from today’s devotional are you most likely to skip when making a decision? Why?
  • What friends in your life know your weaknesses best and are not afraid to tell you?
  • Think about a big decision you’ve made recently. How did you know your impression was from God and not from you?

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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