What to Do When Fear Hinders Your Decision Making

Don't let fear stress you out when making big decisions for your life. Let God make them for you.
Don't let fear stress you out when making big decisions for your life. Let God make them for you. (Flickr )

Often we're afraid of making the wrong decision, and that creates stress.

Maybe you're facing a decision about a major issue: "Should I hold on, or should I let go?" "Should I get in, or should I get out?" "Should I get married?" "Should I find a new job?" "Should I move?"

When you can't make up your mind, you stagger through life. In fact, the Bible says when we remain double-minded, we become unstable in everything we do (James 1). The Greek word for unstable literally means "stagger like a drunk."

But God says there is an antidote to our indecision. Psalm 23:3 tells us, "He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (MEV). We handle the stress of decision-making by letting God guide us.

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You may be thinking, "But I've tried this!" You asked God to guide you, but then you became more confused than before. You still couldn't figure it out. Now you wonder, "Why is knowing God's will so difficult?"

Is God playing games with us? Of course not! God wants to guide us. He wants us to know His will more than we want to know it. Our problem is we often look for the wrong thing when we're trying to find God's will. 

For example, some of us look for a feeling. We want to be swept off our feet by some emotion so we can say, "That's how I know what God's will is!" Some of us want a methodical approach to God's will. We want somebody to give us a recipe or a formula to apply. Some of us take a magical approach to God's will. We're looking for God to do some fantastic sign—write it in the sky, call us on the phone, send us an email. 

All of these ways lead to frustration and cause us to miss God's will. God's will is not a feeling or a formula or something He wants you to be frustrated or fearful about. 

God does not want you confused, and He does not want you stressed over making any decision. He is there, guiding you every step of the way.

Talk It Over

  • What is a big decision you've recently been faced with? How did you seek God's will?
  • Why does God want you to use the Bible to help you make a decision?
  • What keeps you from trusting that God will guide you through every decision you have to make?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

For the original article, visit rickwarren.org.

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