Analysis paralysis

Analysis paralysis

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. – Psalms 1:1

Hebrews 11:24-27

 24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.

 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.

 27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.

Analysis paralysis occurs when an individual or group over analyze or over think a decision or situation that causes the decision-making process to become “paralyzed.” As a result, no solution or course of action is decided upon.

The Cat and the Fox (Aesop’s fables)

A cat and a fox were walking and talking with each other. The Fox boasted he had lots of ways of escaping a pack of dogs. The cat on the other side so good for you. But I only know one way to escape dogs, climb a tree.

One day they were both attacked by a pack of dogs thoughts ran here and there but eventually was caught and killed. The cat on the other hand climbed a tree and was perfectly safe. The moral of the story is it is better to have one good plan that works than a bunch which are works in progress and fail.

How do the Father’s children make wise decisions and avoid analysis paralysis? Wouldn’t be nice if it was always the simple?

Isaiah 30:21 Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.

The Father always has a plan. As His children, we seek to pray His plan into existence. It begins with knowledge of the word of God, trust, prayer, and a desire to see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Joshua 1:8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

Psalms 1:1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.

Sometimes the Father’s instructions don’t make a lot of human sense. But in fact, He already knows what’s going to happen before it does, and He calls us to participate in His plan. He wants us to pray and seek that the Father’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Joshua 6:2 I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.

The Father knew the end from the beginning. He provided Joshua with explicit instructions. But on the surface, they seemed nonsensical. The fighting men and priests of Israel were to walk around the city of Jericho for six days in a row carrying the Ark of the covenant. On the seventh day, they were to walk around the city seven times and then shout. That was the plan! Really?

The Lord promised that on the seventh day, at the sound of the trumpet the walls would collapse. And so, they did (Joshua 6).

Think about Moses and the children of Israel at the Red Sea. They were trapped and doomed to certain death (Exodus 14). But the Father mmiraculously opened the sea and they escaped alive, while their enemies drowned. Consider the destruction of the Assyrian army. A total of 185,000 soldiers, and surrounded Jerusalem and were about to attack. Miraculously they were all slain in the night (Isaiah 37).

The formula seems quite simple: depend upon the Father, seek His help, then a miracle occurs. Our daily and lifelong guidance may not require miracles of this magnitude. But depending upon the Father and seeking His help are mandatory.

REFLECT & PRAY

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil (Proverbs 3:7). Seek trusted, wise counsel from godly children of the King. It is far better than trusting your own.

Father thank You that You are trustworthy and desire me to depend upon You for making decisions, big and small. Encourage me to pray Your will into existence on earth as it is in heaven. Help me not to be overwhelmed or discouraged by the difficult, or even seemingly impossible situations in which I find myself.

INSIGHT

Being fallen people in a fallen world, we will probably never make perfect decisions. But we need to seek to make the very best decisions that we can.

Critically consider and evaluate the comments of President Theodore Roosevelt, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Of course, the best thing to do is the right thing. But what about Roosevelt’s second-best choice or what he considered the worse? I don’t think this is very good advice.

We can glean some wisdom from principles that fallen people in our fallen world have laid out. It is up to us to take what is useful and applicable and discard the rest

Where to begin? Define long-term goals for yourself, along with a few short-term goals. How do you see your life in the years to come? Do you seek to develop an ever-closer relationship with the Father? Do you aspire to become strong in your spirit?

How will the decision you make now impact those goals? Will the outcome of your decision be a step towards or away from your objective? Every choice has its pros and cons. Short-term decisions should move you towards your ultimate objectives. Our lifelong journey moves forward one step at a time. Plan on taking iterative steps, not quantum leaps.

There are a few more questions to consider that may prove to be helpful. How important is this decision? Will this impact me a year from now? What’s the worst thing that could happen? Set aside sufficient time to ponder and to liberate. Be sure to seek the Father’s face. Decisions with long-term consequences, may require weeks or months.

Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you cannot understand at the time (Oswald Chambers).

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