the pre-decision

I’ve made a few (okay, maybe more than a few, thank you very much) stupid and ill advised decisions over the years. No surprise there. I remember hiding the uneaten cheese sandwich when I was 6 so I could leave the table, thinking “no one could possibly find out”. Then there was the time my friend Ricky and I decided it would be cool to light a candle in his pup tent when I was about 8. I don’t think I have to tell you how that turned out, but let me set the record straight- contrary to neighborhood lore, there were no fire trucks called to the scene.

Sound decision making is a lifelong work in progress. We all hope to get better at it as we go. Along the way, I’ve learned a huge part of making decisions is choosing who or what we will allow to influence us as we make our decisions. The decision of which voices to listen to is the biggest “pre-decision” we make. then we have to choose, and then own, our decision.

After King Solomon died, his son Rehoboam was next up to be king (1 Kings 12.) Leaders sought him out and urged him to lighten the load on folks- his dad Solly had been quite a taskmaster. Reho said he’d think about it for three days. Reho then went to his dad’s advisors (old wise men) to see what they thought. They pretty much agreed that lighter would be a good way to go. Then Reho went to his young buds who he was bringing on as his advisors- they said, “Dude, tell those complainers to watch out because they haven’t seen nothing yet. Wait’ll you show them what ‘hard’ is.” Well, Reho listened to his young buds, and rejected the wisdom of the wise old men who had been there and done that. Reho’s story as king wasn’t so storybook, if you know what I mean. So the moral is, be careful who you listen to in the pre-decision stage of your decision making. If it doesn’t fit with God’s Word, you are inviting the Evil One to a seat at your table.

Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.

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