12 Steps to Making Better Decisions in the 2020s

12 Steps to Making Better Decisions in the 2020s by Joe Carter  for The Gospel Coalition

GNN Note – 12 Steps of AA, 12 Steps to Making Decisions – 12 Tribes…hmmm


Yesterday started a new year and a new decade, which means you’ve likely made a new set of resolutions. What makes resolutions so compelling is that they provide us with a fresh start, a chance to recommit to taking actions that will improve our lives. Yet such resolutions are just a tiny fraction of the decisions we make that affect our happiness.

Research has shown that the average adult makes 70 conscious decisions every day. That means we make a decision, on average, four times every waking hour, or about once every 15 minutes. Over the course of the 2010s you would have made 3,652 decisions (including the decision to read this article).

Most of the decisions we make, of course, are trivial—what clothes we will wear, what we will eat for breakfast, and so on. But we frequently need to make decisions that are substantive, and that may have a profound effect on our lives or the lives of others. Because of the significance of decision-making, we need to develop the habit of doing it well.

The decision-making process is circular: the decisions we make are not only determined by our worldview but they also help to shape our worldview. Our day-to-day decisions to hear God’s Word and to obey his commands leads us to become wise, and thus able to make better decisions. As we enter a new decade, here’s a 12-step mode that can help you make godly decisions throughout the 2020s:

1. Commit to seeking God’s will — Commit to seeking God’s will by praying he will guide you through each step of the decision-making process, search the Bible for relevant commands and principles, and obey all he asks you to do.

2. Classify the question — The second step is to classify the type of question or problem you’re trying to decide. Is this a generic type of problem or something unique? While many of the decisions we need to make will be on questions unique to us, the problem itself is probably generic. That means someone else you know has probably had to make a similar decision and may be able to provide prudent advice or guidance.

3. Define the problem — Once we determine whether the problem is unique or generic we then need to drill down and define it clearly. For example, you might initially think the decision you are making is to take a new job, when the real problem you are grappling with is whether a change that would advance your career is worth leaving your family, friends, and local church to move to a new city.

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