As if a global recession weren’t enough to worry about, Americans are now facing a very real global pandemic. We should be guarding against anything that could divide us and yet, so many of us stand in judgement of others' decisions. We’ve all read the news stating the Covid-19 virus poses a significant health threat. States have been shut down, reopened, and then with what seems to be another rise in the numbers, some states face being shut down again. All of this at a time when our children and their teachers are preparing to go back to school.
For the first time since the 1950s, Americans are in the midst of a pandemic and understandably, people are worried. So how can you remain calm in the face of the unpredictable? How can we know if we are making the right decisions among so much misinformation and perceived media hype?
Motives Behind Decision Making
Have you ever analyzed what prompts you to make a particular decision? Very few, if any, decisions are made in a vacuum. There’s always something that provokes you or me to do what we do. Run through this short list of motives and emotions that contribute to many of the choices people make. Some are noble and others are not so noble.
Fear caused one of three servants who were given money to manage, save, and invest for their master, to hide money in the ground instead of investing it (Matthew 25:25).
Popularity pleased Pilate so much that he gave up on seeking to free Jesus and gave Him over to the murderous crowd (John 19:12).
Persecution influenced Peter to choose to deny Jesus three times out of fear (Matthew 26:69-74).
Approval induced Herod the king to kill the apostle James, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he tried to kill Peter too ( Acts 12:1-4).
Obedience fueled Daniel’s choice to reject the king’s food rather than break God’s laws (Daniel 1:8).
Now it’s time to change or fine-tune how you’re gong to choose to make decisions from now on. Being concerned about making the right and best decisions is good thing. If you can learn few preliminary steps before rushing into something, or before choosing rashly, emotionally, or without consideration, then you can be less worried and more confident that you’re making right choices.
Review Each Decision
Clarify what is being asked of you. Pray and ask Him for guidance. Educate yourself on the options you are given.
Refine Your Options
What does each option entail? What does the Bible say about those things? Are there alternatives?
Remember God’s Word
The Bible is your standard. If any option does not agree with or align with God’s Word, then it’s a bad option.
Restrain Your Emotions
When emotions are involved we tend to make wrong, rash decisions. Get your emotions under control by praying and seeking Godly counsel. Then, approach your decision with a clear mind.
Re-examine Your Motives
Oftentimes, motives are deceptive. Our minds can justify anything. We must pray and ask God to reveal the condition of our own hearts and ask ourselves the tough questions to reveal our true motives.
If you’ve followed all of the steps above, then you can be confident you are making the right decision for yourself and your family. Why? Because you’re choosing to follow God’s leading. You’re not making decisions on your own. Instead, you are choosing to make God the essential element in your decision making process. Set your worry aside and trust in Him!
I’m a self-described “recovering worrier.” For many years, I struggled with anxiety over everything from health to finances. But today, in the midst of the unprecedented times we are in, I’ve found the secret to finding true peace in the midst of life’s most challenging circumstances. Because my own methods of getting rid of anxiety weren’t making any difference, I turned to the Bible for help. That’s when — and where — I found God’s life-changing truths that showed me the way to break my habit of worrying. You can do the same.
Dear God, I so easily focus on the bad and then I worry. Please guide me in redeeming my negative thoughts by using them as reminders to pray. I want to fully trust You in all things. Amen.
Tackling the growing problem of anxiety, Elizabeth George draws on the Bible and her personal experiences to help readers develop their trust in the Lord and take steps to keep worry and runaway fear in check. Going beyond the simple “just pray and give your troubles to the Lord,” in Breaking the Worry Habit Forever, Elizabeth acknowledges how hard it can be to “let go and let God.” She offers practical step-by-step advice to help readers.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” (Proverbs 3:5)
When trouble crosses my path, what is my first reaction: do I worry or do I pray?
The goal of spiritual growth is to exchange the bad habit of worrying with the excellent habit of trusting God.