Good decision-making ∙
Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding. – Proverbs 14:33
2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
Consistently making good decisions is a critical skill we can cultivate. Understanding the factors that lead to poor choices is key to improving this skill. Studies have pinpointed several factors that can hinder effective decision-making: decision fatigue (lack of mental energy, tiredness), distraction and lack of focus, lack of input (often 30% of the people give 70% of input), multitasking (lack of focus), emotions (distractive positive or negative), analysis paralysis (TMI) (Harvard Business Review).
“How many times have we made bad decisions that cause great agitation and turmoil and cost us deeply? How often have we experienced regret, remorse, humiliation, and embarrassment because of our folly? All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God” (Oswald Chambers).
How can we learn to make better decisions? The Father has a simple, straightforward answer: seek, acquire, and master wisdom.
Solomon set his mind to use wisdom to seek and explore all that has been done under heaven (Ecclesiastes 1:13).
Wisdom begins by coming to respect and know our Father God.
Proverbs 9:10 Respect and awe for the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
Proverbs 19:8 The one who acquires wisdom loves himself; the one who preserves understanding will prosper.
Our hearts and minds are to be shaped and ultimately ruled by the wisdom our Father so graciously imparts us (Proverbs 14:29-30, 33).
REFLECT & PRAY
How frequently do we make poor choices that result in significant losses and then experience unintended consequences of frustration, turmoil, or worse?
Father, I seek wisdom that You so generously provide without reproach. Please grant me wisdom so that I might make better decisions, grow in discernment, and live without regret.
What is wisdom, and how vital is wisdom to a successful and fruitful life? A simple, handy definition of wisdom is skill for living. The Hebrew word translated as wisdom is hokmah. Hokmah originally had a sense of technical skill or aptitude. It was the word used to describe skilled craftspeople (Exodus 35:35). It came to mean the ability to apply knowledge or experience, understanding or common sense, and insight to everyday situations. Wisdom includes knowledge. However, wisdom has more to do with the practical and effective application of knowledge than knowledge itself.
Wisdom is the special capacity to intuitively understand, discern, and make sagacious decisions. Wisdom can be acquired by applying our minds to learning, comprehending, and applying the Word of God.
Wisdom encompasses far more than mere intellectual knowledge. It transcends the realm of factual understanding and delves into the realm of practical application. Wisdom is not solely about acquiring information; it entails navigating life skillfully. It is a valuable inheritance passed from one generation to another, originating from God, the ultimate source of wisdom (Gary Holloway).
The Father intended for wisdom to reign in our hearts and minds.
“A growing number of people in our world fail to seek God for His wisdom. Instead, they strive to satisfy their passions and desires without regard to their futures or the consequences of their decisions. This is a spiritually dangerous way to live. When we try to live apart from the counsel of God’s wisdom, we suffer disillusionment, fear, doubt, worry, and frustration. Our lives fall apart . . .” (Stanley).
As we face life’s complex challenges, what is the wisest approach to decision-making? The Scriptures are clear: seek the Father to discover His guidance and direction to fulfill His dream and purpose for our lives.
How do we acquire spiritual insight?
- Seek Him – ask Him. Take time to pray – but in your times of prayer, don’t do all the talking. Listen for God’s still, small voice.
- Meditate on God’s Word – You will gain insight into God’s mind and heart.
- Obey the principles of Scripture – Set your heart on obeying the Father and He will teach you how to apply His truth in your life.
- Remember the faithfulness of God – The Father has never failed to keep a single promise He has made.
- Seek godly counsel – share your needs and fears with those who love the Lord and you.
- Associate with wise people – Choose your friends wisely and include the Father in every relationship (Stanley).
James 1:5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
While the Bible does not explicitly answer every intricate problem that emerges in life, it offers general principles to guide us. It doesn’t solve every problem directly with precise instructions, but God’s word equips us with foundational truths. Spiritual wisdom encompasses the practical application of knowledge to navigate everyday situations effectively. “That is why we need wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is the practical application of our Lord’s teachings to everyday situations” (MacDonald).
© Dr. H 2023