Paralysis by Analysis: Finding Motivation to Make Decisions

Last Sunday’s message was about making the most of the opportunities that God presents to His people.  In many cases, we are simply not sure if an opportunity is one God wants us to act on or not.  Taking a phrase from Mordecai in the book of Esther, I find a strange comfort sitting at the proverbial fork in the road, “Who knows…” “Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14, HCSB)

Did I pass this trial or did I fail?  Have I made the decision that sets my family up for success or will I live to regret it?  Was what I said from a place of love or do I have ulterior motives? Should I take door #1, door #2, or am I going to get the donkey wearing a hat behind door #3? Who knows. Perhaps.

I don’t know, and even the closest friend, with the best of counsel, may not really know.  We don’t have the ability to see the future, know all possible angles, or truly understand even our own intentions.

But God knows. Sometimes He gives us peace about making decisions, and sometimes He gives us so much liberty in making choices that we feel He may not care that we are struggling. Yet, in those moments, the double-minded who lacks wisdom are commanded to, “Ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.(James 1:5)” We’re told to be sure to ask in faith. I suppose that means that wisdom isn’t going to be downloaded immediately, or else we wouldn’t need to really ask “in faith.” (also see James 3:13-18)

There are times when we know God’s decision for us when God reveals his hidden wisdom for us (see 1 Corinthians 2:7-12). But often I find myself facing decisions that God simply hasn’t specified only one right move. In the end it is encouraging to me to imagine Mordecai dispelling my “paralysis by analysis” with a shrug, “Who knows? Perhaps this, perhaps that, …but either way God is still our true King on the throne.  Your decision doesn’t tie God’s hands.”

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One comment on “Paralysis by Analysis: Finding Motivation to Make Decisions
  1. MotoMatt says:

    Great post. Even if we choose wrong, with the best of intentions, God is in control.

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