Saturday, January 02, 2010

Christian Manhood - Decision Making

During the fall I was teaching a class for men called God's Pattern for Christian Manhood. I have written several articles on this topic through the fall, but it has been since November 16th now since I've written on this topic. In order to follow the train of thought, you might want to search this blog for the "manhood" label. Here is the next in the series.

Another step in determining God’s will for your vocational life is to discover your God-given gifts and develop them. Everyone has unique and distinct gifts and these are an indicator as to how God will use you in this world.

Everyone is gifted differently. In Matthew 25:15-18 each man had been given a different amount, but God expected each one to be a faithful steward of what God had given him. According to Romans 12:6, God wants us not only to know what our gifts are, but to use them for His glory. It’s not a matter of what gift we have or how talented we are. What is important is that we invest in the kingdom of God by using your gifts effectively and wisely.

As you plan, study, and become skilled, remember that you are preparing to do work that will support you and your family in the culture you live in. Don’t waste time wishing that you had lived in a different era or had different circumstances. God has called you in this time and place and it’s important to plan and develop your gifts accordingly.

Another step in the process of determining God’s will for us is to seek wise counsel. Look at these passages in Proverbs: 11:14; 12:15; 15:22

From these passages we learn that there is safety in a multitude of counselors, that it is important to give heed to counsel and not ignore it and that counsel establishes plans.

So don’t be afraid to ask for counsel and advice. In fact, seek it diligently. Don’t be afraid of what you might hear. Then, when you receive advice, consider it seriously when making decisions. If someone offers you advice you didn’t ask for, don’t just dismiss it. Assume you have a blind spot; think seriously about what they said.

In addition to seeking counsel, there should be a lot of prayer given to the decision. James 1:5 tells us that we should ask God if we lack wisdom. By praying we are acknowledging our lack of wisdom and strength and letting God know that we are dependent on Him and not relying on our own ability. (See Proverbs 3:6)

Finally, make a rational, well-thought decision. This doesn’t have to be the final decision for a life-long vocation. This can be a decision for the next step in the process such as what classes to take this semester or what college to go to. Indecision and procrastination are not values God approves. In the Bible, the only time people were to wait was when God told them explicitly to wait. Otherwise moving forward in faith and obedience is the proper course of action. Once the decision is made, move forward with it and begin to plan the next step.

This last point is important because a lot of people get hung up doing nothing while they wait for some “leading” they expect to get from God. God leads through His Word and His providence in the circumstances of life. He expects us to pray for wisdom, seek counsel and then move forward having made a concrete decision.

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