Going through deeply challenging situations can really get us questioning our decision making and judgment. After all, that relationship didn’t end in a void or that business didn’t tank by itself. We were active participants in something that ended badly, whatever the situation.
I could spend time talking about grace and the importance of learning from your mistakes, forgiving yourself (because you’re already forgiven!) and moving forward. Instead, I want to talk about something I think we sometimes miss – at least I did at first! You still know how to make good, solid decisions. No, I’m not talking about the ones you feel confident making in other areas. I’m talking about the ones you still need to make in your area of weakness or failure.
What I have learned and seen time and time again is decision making isn’t always the issue. Oftentimes, trusting our judgment and internal compass, the Holy Spirit, is. For me, it’s rarely been the case where I never got some sort of internal warning, a pang of guilt or an unsettled feeling, a flash of questioning or a thought that there might be more going on than I wanted to acknowledge. In other words, in hindsight I can see the signs, and I was AWARE of those signs at the time!
Where I think we all get into trouble is with reasoning away what our mind and spirit are beginning to see. We justify; we make excuses. We remind ourselves why we don’t like conflict or how we’re likely blowing things out of proportion. We come up with all sorts of reasons to continue to allow bad behavior, especially if it’s our own. It’s like we manipulate and trick ourselves into buying in on something because it’s easier, quicker or simpler to swallow in the moment.
In understanding this, I have learned the value of stepping back and re-examining my steps to see where I shut out truth and especially why I shut it out. That simple process has made such a difference in who I am as a person and has allowed my confidence to grow tremendously! I realize I do have good instincts, and learning to listen to and trust in them is an empowering experience.
There are two scriptures here that help guide me. In Galatians 5:25 it says, “Now since we have chosen to walk with the Spirit, let’s keep each step in perfect sync with God’s Spirit.” To me, that says listen closely to what God is saying to me. Trust Him! He actually knows what He’s doing, and the more I listen and follow, the more I experience His perfection and peace.
The other is in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 which says, “Don’t suppress the Spirit.” If you get that nudge, however gentle, don’t be afraid to explore it. If people are telling you hard truths about yourself, have the humility to listen closely and grow if necessary. Invite God’s Spirit into situations, especially when they’re hard. You’ll be amazed by the goodwill and peace it ultimately promotes. Truly!
So go ahead! Re-evaluate that relationship you’re thinking of starting or ending. Ask the hard questions you’ve been putting off. Take the plunge into what you know you need to do. Even though it may be hard in the short term, over the long haul you’ll be glad you did.
For further thought: This week, think of an area you doubt your judgment in. Take some time to explore the signs you might have ignored in past situations. Most importantly, begin to pray
for a regained confidence in your ability to make spirit-led decisions.