The worst decisions you will ever make will be those that are rooted in fear. Fear-based decisions never serve you well. But neither does fear-based indecision.
Staying put out of fear of what will happen if you make a decision is worse than not making a decision at all, even the wrong one. Because by not pulling the trigger, you’ve essentially decided to not have a say in your own life.
There are consequences, good and bad, to every decision we make. But by sticking your head in the sand, or retreating to the happy place of denial and refusing to confront the issues and choices that lay ahead, you’re leaving yourself defenseless against what lies ahead. And whether you’re hiding or not, I promise you, that hammer is going to come down.
Here are just a few examples I’ve been seeing lately:
– Refusing to add up the credit card debt out of fear of the total. The total is there, you might as well know what you’re fighting against.
– Procrastinating calling the mortgage company to request a refinance, modification or short sale out of fear they’ll say “no.” If you need help with your mortgage, you’re not going to get it unless you ask for it. And in most cases you’ll have to ask for it again, and again, and again. It becomes a part-time job. Accept that and jump in!
– Not making calls to creditors out of fear they won’t work with you. Again – you don’t ask, you don’t get. It may take a couple of calls, or several months of calls, but I would say that 98 percent of creditors will work with you if you ask and ask the right way.
– Justifying not telling a spouse about the financial situation out of fear of how they will respond. First of all, they have a right to know. Second, not telling is tantamount to lying. Third, you can’t fight the battle alone. Face the music and fess up if you ran up debt in secret. You’ll be glad you did – eventually.
Then there’s this other humdinger: Should you stay in an unsatisfying, demeaning or even “just not right” job in this economy? For a short answer, and without knowing the ins and outs of whatever situation you might be facing, yes. But don’t camp there. Start looking now. Quietly let friends know you’re ready to move on. Put feelers out on other jobs. Start planning your escape. One of two things will happen: either you’ll find a better fit and you can slide into a new job without losing any paychecks, or things will get better at the current job and you can stay. But don’t jump ship unless you have another ship to jump into. That water is awfully cold down there.
Indecision is a gutless place to be. Pray, gather advice from sensible, mature Christian friends, and pray some more. God will give you guidance if you ask for it, and then you can make your decision – and your next move – with confidence. But understand that doing nothing is a decision in and of itself, and it will cost the highest price of all.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8
Lord, help us to be single minded today. Help us keep our thoughts fixed on you. Let us see things the way you see them. Give us wisdom and clarity of thought and help us make the right decisions, whether they be big decisions or small ones. Let the decisions we make honor and glorify you while blessing us and our families. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Your turn: what decisions are you putting off? What are you afraid of? And what is the source of your fear? How do you plan to push through?