Have you ever tried to write straight lines of text on a marker board (it’s not easy!)? You think it’s good until you step back and look at the board from a distance. Then you can see the lines going crooked, though you didn’t notice up-close.
Sometimes I think I have enough information to make a good decision, but I’m too close to the situation to see it clearly. I need to step back and get perspective. My emotions and fears and hopes and personality and preferences and theology are all tied up in my up-close perspective, making it difficult to see everything clearly.
Here are three things to consider:
1. Ask people who love me what they think I should do
After ten years of marriage, I’ve learned to give a lot of credit to David’s perspective on things. He really really loves me. And he really wants what’s best for me. He also knows my blind-spots pretty well by now, and can point out things I can’t always see.
2. Be Open
If I know what I want, I might not want to hear someone try to talk me out of it. But if they love me, I should probably hear them out anyway. I’m not the only one who can know God’s will or hear Him correctly, so I need to be open.
3. Compare the advice to Scriptural commands and principles
I also need to make sure my decision doesn’t oppose Scriptural commands or principles. Commands are pretty easy to catch, but principles are harder to spot. A principle gives me cause/effect information about a decision (the book of Proverbs is a good place to start when looking for Scriptural principles).
Andy Stanley has a great DVD called “Discovering God’s Will.” I went through this video and study guide with a small group, and loved the practical advice he gave. Trying to hear from God can be complex, and this study helped clarify some things for me.