Why Making Decisions is so Hard

Making decisions is one of the most difficult things we do. If it is that hard to choose between the chocolate chip and the rocky road, how much more do we agonise over this job or that job, this person or that person? We pray, we sweat, we toss, we turn.

Why this fear? Why this agony? Why these sleepless nights? It is the uncertainty of it, I’m sure. It is the uncertainty of where our choices may lead.

When it comes to making decisions, we have this desire to protect ourselves from the consequences of the wrong decisions. I don’t want to make a dating choice that leads to marital misery; I don’t want to make a vocational choice that leads to unemployment. I don’t… I don’t want to be unhappy.

What I really want when I make a decision is to see the future.

I don’t only want to see the options before me, but the result of each of those options.

If I could gaze into the future and see myself hand-in-hand with that woman sixty years from now, I would know that she will make a fine choice for a wife. If I could only see the end, I would know. If only I had access to the future.

But the thing we want is a thing God does not give us. He is far too wise for that, and does not give us that view of the finish line. He could, of course. After all, He is the one who declares, ‘the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…”’ (Isaiah 46:10 NKJV).

We don’t need to know the future when we know the one who holds the future.

Instead, He does something far better: He gives us a view of himself. God does not want us to put our hope in a future outcomes, but in Him. We don’t ground our faith in a result, but in a Person. If we could see the future we would take our eyes off Him.

God doesn’t comfort us by showing us the future, but by showing us Himself. He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us, that He will work all things for good, that He will hold us firm to the end. He guarantees that He has purposes in this world and that nothing can change or interrupt or thwart them. He assures us that He will be glorified. He says, “Don’t look at the future, look at Me!”

Decisions are difficult simply because we do not trust God with the results of our decisions. Decisions are difficult only because we are prone to find our hope in a vision of the future more than in the One who holds the future.

Your confidence in making decisions is directly related to your confidence in God himself.

About the author

Tim Challies

Proper introductions begin with names, so let me tell you how to pronounce mine. It’s pronounced CHALL-eez and rhymes with “valleys” and “rallies.” It’s quite simple, really, but is almost always the first question I’m asked. I am a Christian, Husband and Father of three. I worship and serve as an elder at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto. I have written 5 books and write daily articles on my blog to encourage others.

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