Aaron Summers

Regret-Free Living

In Decisions on December 27, 2013 at 9:17 am

live-with-no-regrets

I walked out of my dorm one evening on the way to dinner when I noticed a couple of my friends sitting in the car.  I attended a Union University and had a boy’s dorm and a separate girl’s dorm.  In the middle was an outdoor commons and circle drive.  This was the spot where the girls were picked up for a date.  I knew what these two were doing.  They were trying to decide where to go eat.  Here’s how it typically went:

Where do you want to go?
I don’t care.  Where do you want to go?
I don’t care.  How about you?
Doesn’t really matter.
Not to me either.

Pause and repeat.

I went to dinner in the cafeteria, casually ate, and returned to find them still there.  I walked up to the car and knocked on the window. “Go to Pizza Inn”, I said.  He started the car and away they went.  So often we paralyze ourselves in decision-making because of fear.  We fear failure.  We fear regret. Here are some other decisions

I know way to many people who cannot make decisions.

  • Who chooses where we eat?
  • Who gets the car?
  • Who gets the girl?
  • Which way should we go?
  • Who goes first?
  • Who gets the good office?
  • Who gets the budget dollars?

These are simple decisions that don’t really matter.  However as we move up the decision-making food chain we shouldn’t rely on this hand game to choose our destiny.  Can you imagine Luke and Vader settling the Force issue this way?  What if the Hunger Games solved its problem like this? Silly?  Borderline stupid?  How are we supposed to make decisions then? Surely there is a better way to decide.  Don’t worry.  There is a better way.

There are three basic influences that shape our decisions: Facts, Feelings, and Faith.  These three are like the points of a triangle.  The answer to your dilemma/decision is found at the center where God’s peace resides.  Geometry teaches us the way to find the center of a triangle is like this picture:

FACTS

triangleFEELINGS                                                               FAITH

From each point one would draw a line to the center of the opposing line.  Where these meet is the center of the triangle.  Every decision, large and small, involves this triangle.  Our job, should we want peace and a life with no regrets, should be to find the center and choose wisely.  Here is how it would work.

FACTS – What are the facts about your decision?  What are the pro’s and con’s?  Make a T-Chart and list on the reasons to choose one way or the other.  Do your research.  Google stalk this decision.  Find out everything you can that is factual.  There are no feelings at this point.  Do not formulate any thoughts yet.  Just gather data.

FEELINGS – Does either way cause joy or pain?  How would deciding either way affect your relationships, your family, your friends?  Those who find the facts easy will find this difficult and the emotional will find the factual harder.

FAITH – Dive into scripture and discover what the Bible has to say about this decision.  I suggest to you that the wisdom of Scripture applies to all of our decisions if we will take the time to investigate.  You may not be a Bible scholar or Logos 5 owner but that doesn’t matter.  Find a biblically wise person in your church or take your pastor to lunch and pick his brain.  Pray for God to bring clarity and direction.  Pray for faith.  Pray for strength.  Pray.

The point is that we should find a balance just like in geometry to find the center of God’s Will in whatever matter you have.  If we lean too heavily on one point the choice could be skewed.  If we take only one point into consideration we are not being responsible.  If we take 2 of 3 we are not being balanced.  The answers you need, and want, can be found.  The decisions made without regret are available to those who do the work.  I don’t always make good decisions, but when I do I use the Decision Triangle.  Try it with your big decision today and in the New Year.

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
Proverbs 19:2 ESV

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