Ep. 364 How Can You Know Your Decisions Won’t Disappoint You?

Ep. 364 How Can You Know Your Decisions Won't Disappoint You (1)

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Shows Main Idea – Making a decision that you hope won’t end with disappointment is a tedious task. How can you ensure there is no future disappointment after you take the plunge? You do due diligence, you follow sound advice, but it leads you into hard times. Should you not have listened? How should you respond when life goes sideways after you take the advice of someone and do due diligence?

Life Over Coffee · Ep. 364 How Can You Know Your Decisions Won’t Disappoint You?

Show Notes

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Generally Speaking

Lesser Decisions We Make: Two people recommended books that I decided to read based on their recommendations. I could not finish them because they were so bad—in my view. Perhaps you’ve had similar outcomes with lesser decisions. But what about when folks recommend doctors, mechanics, schools, and spouses that prove to be disappointing?

The Truth: You cannot vet anything with all certainty. Think about what it would mean to understand a decision fully; you would have to be omniscient. The best you can do is head in the right general direction, along with sound advice and due diligence.

  • Reading a Christian book is a good general direction.
  • Going to a reputable mechanic is a good general direction.

As you move in that general direction, you adjust; we learn as we go. E.g., my first pastor recommended that I go to a fundamentalist Bible college. I did. I don’t regret it. Would I recommend it today? No! I was moving in the general direction of Christian education, had sound advice, and did due diligence. However, my decision-making about theology and practice has become more refined as I continued to pursue God.

Sovereign Clarity

God told Elijah to head down to the creek, and after he arrived, it dried up (1 Kings 17:5-7). Later, he asked him to see a widow (1 Kings 17:7-16). Upon arrival, he met a woman and child ready to die. The Lord told Noah to build a boat (Genesis 6:19) and sent His Son to die on a cross (John 3:16). The stories of the Sovereign Lord directing what appears to be futile missions are legend.

  • We make our plans, but God orders our steps (Proverbs 16:9).
  • We also do not know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:14).

There is an interplay between decision-making and sovereign outcomes. The temptation for us, however, is to know how things will end before we set out for our desired outcome. Knowing the end before you begin is not faith in God; it is faith in the predetermined and anticipated outcome prior to launch. Contrariwise, Peter stepped on the water without knowing how it would end for him. He moved in the right direction, assuming it would end well (Matthew 14:22-33). It did. Eventually.

Guarding Against Disappointment

When we pre-determine how things should go, we are not fully thinking through all of God’s intentions (Genesis 50:20). If it’s an undesirable book, you can stop reading it and move on to the next thing. If it’s a lousy spouse, the complication factor is exponential.

Counseling Tip: When the heat turns up and your mind is unclear, you must ride on the shoulders of others while continuing to take any rogue thoughts captive that shames the name of God.

No matter what is happening to you, God is working His plan. Though it might take longer to get to a better place, you must not lose hope. My ordeal did not begin to turn for nearly ten years. It was not my timeline but the Lord’s. I see now that He was right and I was wrong.

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Call to Action

  1. Describe when you made a decision based on the best information you could gather, including recommendations, but the result was not desirable? How did you respond?
  2. If it were a bad book or movie, I imagine you moved on, but what about a more vital decision? Were you able to gain sovereign clarity, which balanced your thinking and life?
  3. Why is it better to try to gain God’s thoughts on a matter first than looking at the circumstance that is not going the way you had hoped?

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