What shall I do? We all find ourselves either asking that question or at least pondering it at times. Recently as I was driving down the interstate I saw a sign that read, “West bound lanes closed ahead. All traffic must exit.” I was faced with the question, “What shall I do?” Since there was no convenient alternate route, I made the mental decision to stay as long as I possibly could, then find a detour. Travelling went fine for a while, but before I knew it there were brake lights ahead of me, and travelling came to a stop. Things had not gone as planned!
Life is much like that highway. We are travelling down it at high speed. We are constantly faced with decisions that have serious implications. To avoid the decision is to choose the consequences of neglect. If my child receives a wound that is bleeding profusely, I need to make a decision. To refuse to do so it to let him die! We face decisions in all of life. In the remainder of this article we will look at numerous practical areas of life and raise questions that, if we seriously consider and proactively decide on, will make a large impact on our lives.
The biggest decision we can ever make is to respond to the call of God. We become concerned when someone refuses to make a decision for Christ. Rightfully so, because to not make a decision is to choose death, and spiritual death is the worst consequence we can face! Its consequences are eternal.
We are faced with many decisions in our lives. Not all are equally important. A decision as to whether I will have chocolate or vanilla ice cream in my cone is not likely to have long lasting effects. However, many decisions are much more far reaching. As in the medical example above, a proactive decision could change the course of life itself.
How might proactive decision making affect the use of my time? Ephesians 5:16 talks about those walking in the light “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” If I just do what feels best at the moment, will it get the most important things done? Will the fallout be God honoring? God has given us a limited amount of time in a day. If we analyze our time, we may find that we are trying to do more in a day than twenty-four hours allows one to do! If we make decisions as to how we plan to use our time, we will generally be more productive.
How might this change the way we relate to soul winning? This was an important topic to Jesus. Some of His final words to his disciples were, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” If this is a priority in my life, I will have a plan how to accomplish it. That plan might include a deliberate effort to find a needy soul as I go shopping, as I relate to customers at work, or as I go to church. Maybe it’s a choice to place a gospel tract in places I go during the week, or maybe adding it to the contents of an envelope I’m sending out. Does being proactive make a difference to an outreach committee? Are the results of evangelism different if we do what comes easy versus developing a thought out plan? Do I go to greater lengths to help people to come to Jesus than I do in promoting business products? We have a great calling to reach out to the lost. We need to be intentional when it comes to how we’re going to get it accomplished.
Am I decisive in how I am rearing my children? Have I thought through the specifics of what God would have me do with them in the few short years they are with me? Or am I letting an opportunity slip through my fingers that God has invested in me? Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” What kind of character do you want your child to have? How do you want him to relate to others or to conduct himself at school? How are you going to know if he is conducting himself the way you want him to? How are you going to help him develop the character you want him to have? The investment we put into our children now will pay us back for a lifetime, and the results of it will last into eternity!
Many people have positions where they are responsible for people. This might be as an employer, a school teacher, or a church leader. This calls us to be more proactive with our time. It also means we are shouldering a responsibility that lasts into eternity. James 3:1 warns us, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” It goes on to tell us that as we relate to individuals, we need to realize our own imperfections and be sure we are relating in a way that is up-building. To not do so will bring damage to these individuals instead.
While being proactive in decision making can benefit us in material ways, there are many areas in life in which ignoring decisive action comes at the expense of souls. Jesus raises the question in Mark 8:36-37, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” The time to think about this is now. Let’s make decisions today that will acquire what we want for our lives, our families, and our churches for eternity. To ignore the need for decision is to eternally lose our souls!