Decisions are often made as we look at our own circumstances, at how much money we have (or don’t have), or even from the advice that others. Our decisions, however, must take into account more than that. As Christians, we must always look to make decisions that honor God and give Him the glory. God will always honor those who remain obedient to Him and to His Word in their decision-making.
For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
To live in your decision-making is to honor Jesus Christ, not yourself.
Just one thing: live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith of the gospel.
We are to make decisions and behave in such a way that it brings honor and glory to Christ.
How you identify who you are will help you make good, sound decisions. There was a time and place when your name was to hold a place of honor and that a reputation was earned or lost on how you conducted yourself with others. Much of that has been lost today, but it is important to have the attitude and philosophy that your conduct and decisions are to honor God and, in doing so, reflect a positive reputation for you and your family.
Consider the decision-making processes of two Jewish men and their character–Daniel and the Prodigal Son. First, Daniel…
Daniel (Daniel 1)
- Taken from his home and was in captivity (Daniel 1:3-5)
- Quick to learn and understand despite his circumstances
- Learned the language of the Babylonians–trained for three years
- Was given a new name (Daniel 1:6-7) to forget where he came from
- Resolved not to defile himself (Daniel 1:8)
- God favored him (Daniel 1:9, 17, 21) with knowledge, understanding and success.
Daniel identified with who he was in God despite his circumstances of being held in captivity. He was in a difficult situation, but he allowed for the changing of his name and was open-minded about learning the ways of the Babylonian culture. Where he stood firm was where he refused to compromise on his diet. He would not eat the foods that would compromise his faith and his relationship with God. Because he stood firm and did not compromise, God honored him. God will intervene on behalf of you when you reject the practice of sin and honor Him with your decision-making. Even with all of the changes he had experienced, Daniel never lost his identity in God.
When you are in God’s Word and in prayer continually seeking Him, you will make good decisions.
The Prodigal Son (Luke 15)
- Chose to leave home as an act of defiance (Luke 15:13)–note that Daniel did not leave home by choice
- Learned about wild living
- Severe famine took place after his defiant and wild behavior left him without any money (Luke 15:14, 17)
- Had to work for and depend upon a Gentile (Luke 15:15)
- He had forgotten who he was, and worked and ate with the pigs
- He finally came to his senses (Luke 15:17)–in contrast, Daniel never lost his senses
- He confessed his sin (Luke 15:18-19) and declared himself as unworthy.
Sin will cause you to forget who you are in Christ, and will take you places you do not want to go, and it will even cost you more than you are willing or able to pay. The Prodigal Son, who was in a favored place, made a conscious decision to leave home, defy God and his family, and squander his money, which eventually left him working for a Gentile just to survive. In doing this, he wound up working and eating amongst pigs, of which Jews would never associate with (note that the diet of Jewish people was to abstain from pork). His plight was caused by his decision to not follow the Lord–as a result, he had lost his identity as a child of God.
Sin causes Satan to bring guilt upon you and make you feel unworthy or undeserving of God’s love and mercy. It is a plight that must be overcome in order to experience God’s forgiveness and healing.
Sin is uncontrollable, which is exactly why it is to be avoided. We are to avoid even the appearance of sin. “Stay away from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Prayer and obedience is important in maintaining a healthy relationship with God, and it promotes making good decisions–godly decisions instead of worldly decisions. In this, God will be glorified in your actions, and you will see God working actively in your life.