This morning I got up, made some coffee and sat down in my favorite recliner to watch the news. This is my morning routine. I don't really even think about it.
Most of us make thousands of decisions each day. Most of them are pretty mundane—when to get up, how much coffee to make, how long to watch the news. But there are decisions we don't make every day and some of them are difficult, very difficult, with potentially tremendous consequences.
Chances are, you will make many difficult decisions in the next several years. Some of them will be one-time decisions: whether to graduate from high school; whether to go to college or trade school and, if so, where; what job or career to pursue; whether to marry someone; and whether to commit your life to God. (Of course marriage and committing to God are more than just one-time decisions—they must become habitual decisions.)
Many seemingly small decisions you make every day about serious matters—such as how to conduct yourself in male-female relationships; how to spend, save and earn your money; and whether or not to waste your mind and wreck your body with drugs or alcohol—have lifelong consequences.
These kinds of decisions should not be taken lightly. They are hard decisions, and hard decisions require hard thinking. They also require honesty and help. Here are some tips to consider.
1. Be honest with yourself and others.
Know who you are, who you want to become and what you are able to do. Look at your entire self. But do not shortchange yourself. The ancient Greek saying, "Know thyself," applies here. Take off the blinders, the rose-colored glasses or the sunglasses—whatever you're wearing.
If you aren't honest with others as well, they aren't going to be able to help you. Talking to others about yourself and your dreams will help them get to know you better and help them help you better. You never know what life experience someone has had that might help you make a better decision. Opening up to others allows them to open up to you.
2. Seek help from others.
There are lots of people who would like to help you. First, remember that your parents want you to succeed; they want you to be happy. They may be excellent resources because of their experience making difficult decisions or because they know others who can help you. Make sure you are forthright and honest with your parents, otherwise you may be getting less-than-their-best advice.
Also keep in mind that there are likely other wise people who know you and may be able to provide good advice. You may have a good, close relationship with a family friend, a relative, a neighbor, a teacher or your pastor. More likely than not, such a person would be very willing to spend time talking with you about the difficult decisions you face. Don't be afraid to ask for an hour or two of this person's time.
High school or college counselors can also be helpful, especially regarding your decisions about further education and careers. They can often provide aptitude tests, career interest inventories and personality inventories. They may also be aware of additional helpful resources.
Another source of help is your local library. There are millions of good books, and you are certain to find several applicable to your situation if you do some searching. Consult your local public librarian or search online to find ones that might be helpful.
3. Talk to God about the decisions you have to make.
Asking God for His help, to send others to help us and to help keep us from being deceived are powerful prayers (James 1:5 James 1:5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraides not; and it shall be given him.
American King James Version×; John 15:7 John 15:7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you.
American King James Version×). He wants us to succeed, but we must be honest with Him and must ask Him for help.
Today you may or may not be making any hard decisions, but the days are coming when you will be. Prepare now to succeed by being honest, asking for help from those with expertise and praying for guidance from your Creator. VT