Topic: The Misery of Indecision
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.
I can truthfully say that indecision is very unpleasant for me. I am generally a very decisive person and can even be guilty at times of making decisions too quickly. I try not to do that at this stage in my life because I have done it in the past and then regretted the quick decision I made.
Unfortunately I still had to deal with the results of it. But even though I fit into
the category of being a decisive person, there are still times when I find myself vacillating between two things and having
difficulty settling on one or the other.
Most of the time it is simply because I don’t want to do anything I am not convinced God approves of. I would like to be able to know for certain what God wants me to do in every situation, but I don’t, and like everyone else I must step out in faith and eventually do one thing or the other. And, like everyone else, I get butterflies in my tummy and pray with all my heart that if what I am doing is wrong, God will graciously close the door or stop me before I make a huge mistake.
It is impossible to learn how to make good decisions without having the experience of making decisions. We make some right ones and some wrong ones while we are in the process of learning, so I urge you to get started being decisive and learn from your experiences.
Whatever you do, don’t live your life frozen in fear, always being confused because you
don’t know what to do.
“Sir, what is the secret of your success?” a reporter
asked a bank president.
“Two words.”“And, sir, what are they?”
“And how do you make good decisions?”
“And, sir, what is that?”
“And how do you get experience?”
“And, sir, what are they?”
The apostle James, being directed by the Holy Spirit, teaches that if we need wisdom we are to ask for it, and God will give it. Only it must be in faith that we ask with no
wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). If we do waver, hesitate, or doubt, we become unstable and unreliable in all of our ways
and we are unable to receive from the Lord anything we ask for (James 1:5–8). These Scriptures make the position of the
indecisive person quite clear.
He is going to be miserable, confused, and unable to get help from God. We must approach God in faith, ready to take action when we have assurance in our heart of some direction. If after prayer and waiting we still feel that we have no direction, then it may mean that God is simply giving us the freedom to make our own choice.
More than once in my life as I have been seeking God concerning what to do in a situation, He has whispered in my
heart, “You can do what you want to do.” I have learned in those situations that God places desires in my heart and that I
am free to follow them. That kind of freedom frightens some people, but if we know God’s Word, then we should know His
heart and we can live accordingly.
Dave and I have four grown children. When they were young we told them everything to do and not to do, but as they grew we gradually released more and more decision-making power to them, trusting that they had learned what we would want them to do and that they would follow that.
They didn’t always make the right decisions, but through trial and error they learned to make decisions and be responsible for their outcomes, which is part of being an adult.
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We grow as children of God just as our natural children grow, and He doesn’t always give us exact and specific
directions. He expects us to follow His Word, His Spirit, and His Wisdom. If we don’t have peace about something, or it
would not be wise to do it, then we should not do it. It is just that simple!
One thing is for sure, and that is that we don’t have to be afraid to make decisions. If we do make a decision that turns out to be wrong, then we can modify it as we go
along. God will help us get where we are going, but He can’t drive a parked car. If you sincerely want God’s will and you
get lost as you travel through life, God will find you and get you back on the right path.
“Do something, lest you do nothing” is a favorite saying of mine. Some people waste their entire life doing nothing
because they won’t make a decision. The reasons for being indecisive can be varied, so let’s look at some of them:
1. A person may be indecisive because their parents never allowed them to make their own decisions. The parents may
have thought they were protecting their children, but they actually crippled their ability to be decisive.
2. Indecisive people may be insecure about themselves and their abilities. This is the case with a great many people in
our society. Satan loves to give us many fears and insecurities that immobilize us and prevent us from fulfilling our destiny.
Indecisive people must learn how much and how perfectly Godloves them and that they can do all things through Christ Who
gives them strength, ability, and wisdom.
3. Being a people pleaser can also make a person indecisive. People pleasers always look for the approval of others and never follow their own heart when making
decisions. It is rather sad how much we depend on the approval and acceptance of other people. If we live our life to
please other people, we will end up never living our life at all.
We will merely let others live their lives through us when we do what they want instead of what we want.
4. Some people are simply afraid to be wrong. They may be too proud to be able to deal with the thought of having made
a wrong decision, so they make no decision at all. They are always trying to decide and never doing it. I often say that the only way we can find out if we are right is to step out and find out. Being right all the time is highly overrated. Being wrong
only hurts our pride for a few moments, but being indecisive hurts us in ways that are almost too great to calculate.
5. Once a decision is made, action must follow. Some people may stay indecisive simply to keep themselves from having to be responsible for the work that always follows a decision. Successful men and women are wise in making decisions and persistent and determined in the action they must take thereafter.
In all of these reasons I am offering for indecision, one thing is for sure: It is a bad habit and can be eliminated by forming good habits. Make a courageous decision to be decisive. The more practice you get, the better you will get at doing it.