I assign more weight to decisions than necessary. Some of that comes from remnants of formula-thinking and the rest from the recovering perfectionist version of myself who labors over picking the ideal option even if there isn’t a wrong one.
God lays out His boundaries in love on the pages of scripture. I don’t overthink those kind of decisions. It’s the ones that don’t fit in a right/wrong category, the ones that beg the question “how.” Constant deliberation over countless solutions swipes my energy as well as my joy. Even after I decide, I can second-guess my way into a sleepless night.
How do we know we’re on the right path?
I gravitate toward options with the least inconvenience, delay, or pain. When God directs my steps and I run into unexpected trouble, my immediate assessment is this: I must have chosen the wrong way. I must have heard Him wrong. I must not be on the right path after all.
But maybe encountering trouble along the way isn’t proof we picked the wrong direction; maybe we need a whole new perspective from the One who told us to expect trouble, but promised the trouble we face could never overpower us.
In moments of regret, these lies speak the loudest:
You make poor decisions.
You lack discernment.
You are a fool.
Have I made poor decisions in my life? Sure. We all have. But this blanket statement about all decisions in all circumstances is an outrageous lie. The path from guilt over our actions is a slippery slope that can land our hearts in a pit of shame where the focus shifts from what we do to who we are.
As a believer of Christ who has His Spirit living within me, I am no fool. Neither are you. His Word tells us so. Jesus is Wisdom, and through Him, we have unlimited access to the highest level of discernment. We may make mistakes from time to time, “but we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Mind, nous in Greek, covers all areas of decision making—head, heart, and gut. We have access to a fully balanced discerning mind because it has been handed to us by God.
The enemy’s lies keep us from receiving this gift.
Our God doesn’t think as we think, and His ways do not conform to our preconceived beliefs of how our lives should look. He often guides us down a lane that leads away from the world’s (success) destination.
I used to live a false narrative that told me God is only present in the blessings, absent in the pain. This perspective limits His presence rather than unleashing His power in the middle of my weakness. God’s glory is just as evident in suffering as it is in miracles, yet we’ve trained our eyes to look for Him everywhere other than our own heartbreak.
God’s glory is far too glorious to behold through the lens our culture hands us. We’ve been conditioned to search for the win, the blessings, the perfect storybook ending. God gave us something even better. He promised His perfect presence from beginning to end.
When we focus on the destination, we risk missing the view right outside our window. Trying to plan the most comfortable, convenient trip prevents us from enjoying the company of God.
A life of faith isn’t framed by the forward trajectory from present to future; it’s defined by the ebb and flow of companionship with God every step of the way no matter what comes our way. The journey is all about getting to know our Guide.
God gave us His mind which always aligns with His will. So, we can live free from the fear that we might miss His best or that it is all up to us to choose the right path. If ever we’re in doubt about which way to take, all we have to do is ask.
This life is less about which way we take and more about remembering the One who is the Way is always with us. And ultimately, we’ll experience an ending that far surpasses any storybook version we could ever imagine.
By Kelly Sobieski