Wisdom in Decision Making
As a follow up to my last post on Wisdom & Understanding, I want to show an example of how to apply scripture to our decision-making process. If I believe God is the source of all wisdom (as James 1:5 articulates), how do I practically tap into that wisdom?
In seeking God regularly for His wisdom, I typically land in the books of Proverbs or Ecclesiastes as they were specifically written to document inspired wisdom as it was revealed by God to the authors.
A good example would be Proverbs 15. In this text in particular, there are some things that come to life as it relates to wise decision making. I will be leaning quite a bit on the strong teaching of Jerry Gillis as I try to unpack some of what is said in this text.
Let’s see what it says about wisdom…
- Verse 7 says that a wise person spreads knowledge.
- Verse 12 says that a fool (mocker) resents correction. Conversely, in verse 31-32, a wise person desires correction because it leads to understanding.
- Verse 14 says that a discerning heart seeks knowledge.
- Verse 18 says that patience in the midst of conflict will have a calming effect on the situation.
- Verse 22 says there is wisdom in Godly counsel.
- Verse 28 says there is wisdom in thinking before we speak.
- Verse 33 says there is wisdom in fearing The Lord and that humility comes before honor.
We could dive into all sorts of things with these verses, but based on what we just read, what can we focus on for wise decision-making?
How close are we to the issue at hand?
Do we understand the context – not just broadly, but day-to-day?
Do we understand big picture and implications?
There is a fine balance here, as not always is the closest person the best person to make the decisions. A wise decision-maker needs to have enough information to understand but some space to remain objective when objectivity is needed. This isn’t always possible or necessary, but is certainly helpful.
There is considerable value in getting an outside perspective to bring clarity to situations when we are too close to the situation to think objectively. We need a good balance between proximity and perspective when gathering information.
Can we trust who we are listening to? Leaders need a high level of discernment when there are multiple voices speaking into a situation.
Have we made similar decisions like this before?
How did we handle the outcomes or consequences of past decisions?
Do we defer to others to take the heat on our decisions? Conversely, do we take an undue amount of credit for the decisions made?
Have we made good decisions in other areas? Not just work-related, but in our lives? Have we shown a pattern of good decision making?
Ultimately, can we be trusted in our decision-making?
I hope this was helpful for you.
What are some passages of scripture or other resources you use when seeking wisdom?