A young man is in trouble. He stole money, not a lot, just a R100, and now he is in trouble. He’s a good boy, with an open, honest face, but for whatever reason, a vice in his head led him astray so that he made the wrong choice.
I ask him whether he thinks it is wrong to take someone else’s money without permission. He immediately responds with a yes. I quickly realise that he knows what is right and what is wrong and where the line between the two lies. Then I ask him why he took the money while he knows it is wrong – he has no answer to that.
Somewhere something or someone, some voice in your head succeeds in leading you astray so that you simply blank out when it comes to making a decision. He knows it is wrong. He knows it will have serious repercussions if he is caught. He even knows that what he did is harmful to the owner of the money, which he also didn’t want to do, but still he made the wrong decision.
I served on a board where the financial person was suspected of money laundering. She was suspended while the allegations were being investigated. And it was found to be true. Suppliers were paid twice: one payment to the supplier and a second payment into one of her five accounts. The amount involved had quite a few zeros at the end.
I’m convinced the first amount she transferred was not much more that a R100. But as time went by the zeros increased. Again and again the wrong choice. Even the fear of being caught and the fear of punishment were not enough to help her make the right decision.
We are confronted by many choices every day. Not always between what is right or wrong. Ordinary ones, like how I’m going to react if someone offends me. Choices about my future. Choices to live within God’s will where the answers aren’t that simple.
We must realise that we cannot do it on our own. That voice in your head forces you in the wrong direction. Paul knew this too. He was in that exact same place. He knew that the new Christians of Colossae would struggle. Therefore he prayed: 9Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.
God is the one who will reveal the wisdom to us. God knows exactly what we must do. God can see the other side of the hill. He sees into the future right up to the end. That is why we must include Him in our decision-making process all the time, always. He must be our partner. The one who give the final vote on the decision, because then it will always be the right one.
The wrong decisions that the young man and the financial person took made me realise once again that it is much easier for us to make the wrong decisions than the right ones. I also realised that fear of the consequences is not sufficient to prevent us from making the wrong decisions. I realise that this is an inherent flaw that sometimes makes us act in incomprehensible ways.
Without God as our partner in the decision-making process we cannot always make the right choice. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we stay in daily contact with our decision-making partner, so that He can help us make the right decision each and every time.
What do the consequences of your decisions look like?
Do you struggle with some decisions?
Do you ask God’s help?
Father, I’ve experienced this often in the past. I am unable to make the right decisions. Some are simply not clear. That is why I’m asking You to help me with every decision. Please help me to stand still and hear your whisper. Amen.