Decisions by Stan Davidson, Alabama District Superintendent
Former President George W. Bush, in his book Decision Points, quoted St. Ignatius of Loyola as saying, “Pray as if it all depends on God, for it does. But work as if it all upon us, for it does.” There is great wisdom in this saying. We cannot do it all and God will not do it all. One of the areas that God has left to our discretion is making decisions. This month want to focus on this action.
The power and need to make a decision is based on the reality that God created men as free moral agents: with the will and power to determine their own destiny. This freedom is both cherished and Cherished in the sense that we are not robotic, pre-programmed beings with no voice in our own lives and in that we see those, we love horrible choices and have, quite frankly, made a few bad decisions ourselves.
A decision can be incidental or impacting. Minor choices we make each day can mean little in the scope of but this is not always the case. Life is full of forks in the road and both forks may seem fine at the point of decision, but what awaits down the road could be major. That’s why decisions should always be made after consulting the One who sees down the road.
Excellence In leadership depends on one’s ability to make a decision and stick with it. This does not mean that it is a failure in leadership to go back and correct yesterday’s bad choices. That is a statement of true character. However, leading with confidence means making choices with confidence. After looking at all the facts, weighing all the options, and consulting the Almighty, One should go confidently forward.
The smallest of decisions seems to unsettle many. Thirty minutes in the buffet line might be an indication that one has trouble. We do not need that kind of leader when faced with circumstances. I have observed over the years that the United States of America fares better under decisive no matter what their party affiliation may be. The ability to make a tough call and stand strong breeds confidence in the full of built confidence in then led them in the wrong direction. That is proof that will follow a decision maker.
The most crucial part for the godly leader is to seek the will of God. We do not have to determine how it will be done, when it will be done, and all the other details. We have to determine if it is the will of God. If it is the will of God all the other things will come in God’s time.
The modern dependency on public opinion polls nauseates me. I would rather have a representative with whom I disagreed than one who has to take a poll before he makes a decision. As a society, we can sometimes survive bad choices, but we are doomed with weak leadership. It is better to be voted out of office for doing something right than to hold office by yielding to pressure. The current fear in leadership of the social media has brought the institution to its all-time low. An election cast by a majority of godless people is not going to produce a godly result.
The church is not a democratic institution. It is a theocracy based on the one true God embodied in Jesus Christ. That is why we do not take public opinion polls before selecting the Sunday Morning message. We do not need to hear from people – we need to hear from God. Just do a study of and determine how often the majority is in the will of God. How about almost never?
A pastor has to make decisions when leading his church. It will not be popular with everyone. It is good to examine who is who is praising you. The praise of a fool is of no honor, but the criticism of some people makes one feel good about himself. (If that person doesn’t like me then I must be doing something right!)
A father has to make decisions. In some cases, in a single parent home, the mother has to make the decisions that are difficult. When both parents are home, these decisions come discussion and planning, but somebody has to have fortitude to call the shots. I will probably date myself but I think it is still okay for dad to say, “You are not wearing that out of the house.”
A decision has to be based on the correct Decisions cannot be selfishly made (what is best for me). A true leader sacrifices self for the good of the body, with no example than that of our Savior. A father never makes a decision for his family based on what others may think of him, but on what is best for his wife and children.
And my experience is that when people know you love them and will sacrifice for them, when you make the tough calls they will follow. There is a certain security in knowing that someone has the backbone to make the tough calls. God help us to make the right ones.