Summary: This is my annual New Year’s message for 2007

Determined Decisions

Selected Passages

December 30, 2007

Morning Service

Parts of this message are adapted from the Decision Making devotional included in John Maxwell’s One Hour with God.

Former president Ronald Reagan once had an aunt who took him to a cobbler for a pair of new shoes. The cobbler asked young Reagan, "Do you want square toes or round toes?" Unable to decide, Reagan didn’t answer, so the cobbler gave him a few days. Several days later the cobbler saw Reagan on the street and asked him again what kind of toes he wanted on his shoes. Reagan still couldn’t decide, so the shoemaker replied, "Well, come by in a couple of days. Your shoes will be ready." When the future president did so, he found one square-toed and one round-toed shoe! "This will teach you to never let people make decisions for you," the cobbler said to his indecisive customer. "I learned right then and there," Reagan said later, "if you don’t make your own decisions, someone else will."

Decisions are made even when we think that we aren’t making them. We decide not to decide. The truth of the matter is simple, we cannot choose not to decide.

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility. Eleanor Roosevelt

A few days after Christmas, people start thinking about making resolutions for the upcoming New Year. They start thinking about things that need changing in their lives and seeing some difference in their routines. These resolutions are nothing more than determined decisions. Decisions that help move us forward in making positive changes to our lives.

We make decisions each and every day. Many times they are decisions that may not be big but they effect us all the same. Often we make them without even really thinking about them.

• What we are going to wear

• When we are going to get up in the morning

• Where we are going and how we are going to get there

Many times we are misguided by misconceptions about making good decisions. Let’s take a few moments to examine some of the misconceptions about making good decisions.

Misconceptions about good decisions

Good decisions are always made quickly

There has never been a good decision made in a moment. There is no such thing as a good decision made quickly. Often quick decisions, that turn out well, are made based on the foundation of good decision making. Making good decisions take time and effort.

Good decisions involve only ourselves

Many times decisions are made involve other people. The decisions that you make will affect those that are around you. When you make a personal decision, it affects your family. When you make a professional decision, it affects those who work with you. When you make spiritual decisions, it affects the church family around you.

Good decisions are reached without pressure

Many times we think that good decisions are ones that don’t involve any kind of pressure. Every good decision I have ever made, had some degree of pressure to it. This is especially true of the church. Every decision made in the church effects people not only here but perhaps in eternity. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard certain decisions could not be reached because someone would get upset. If the church has to consult everyone before every decision is made we start following the will of members instead of the will of God.

Good decisions are reached without the input of others

Good decisions are made with the input of those others. When we make decisions there is a need to see how this will impact others. If decisions are made that create changes, those being effected by the changes should be consulted. For example: If there is a decision being made to change the time of Sunday School, the Sunday School teachers should be informed.

This is especially true of spiritual decisions. We can never make a good spiritual decision without the input of God. We gain God’s input through scripture, prayer, worship and Bible study.

Good decisions are never cause disagreement

There is no statement more wrong than this. There are times when good decisions have to be made that some people will not like. That is a simple fact of life. We do not make decisions to please those around us, we make decisions to please Christ.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

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