Thursday, April 12, 2012

Making decisions that build up, rather than tear down

Romans 14:19-20 19So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. 20Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.

3 Principles for ensuring a good beginning for making Godly Decisions
For the past few days we have been exploring principles or absolutes in Romans 14 that will empower you to make Godly decisions in those areas that are either debateable or "gray-area" situations.  So far we have considered three principles or questions to ask yourself when faced with tough decisions:

1. The Lordship Principle - Will this decision enable me to live obediently for Jesus Christ? Romans 14:5-6

2. Love your brother (or neighbor) Principle - Will this decision enable me to place other's needs above my own or enable me to live unselfishly for God's glory? Romans 14:7

3. Spirit-led Principle - Will this decision encourage me to live by the Holy Spirit's power rather than by my own self-led motives? Romans 14:17-18

The first two principles are "cornerstone principles", since they cover the Great Commandment given by Jesus in Mark 13:34-35 and Matthew 22:37-39.  The third principle is the power source for carrying out the implications of the first two.  All three together provide what I need to ensure that my basis for decision making is starting off on the right foot.

Principle #4 The Building up Principle
Today's blog is going to cover a fourth key principle that is covered in Romans 14:19-20, what I call "The Building up principle".  The building up principle has me ask this question in my decision making efforts: "Will this decision build-up others or God's work, or will it lead more to a tearing down of others or God's work?"

With this principle, our decision making moves from the realm of the personal to the realm of how my decisions will affect other people and the work of God.  Admittedly it can be difficult to determine sometimes the outcome of our decisions.  What may very well be well-intentioned motives can sometimes lead to failure. 

Seeking godly counsel is part of the building up process in your decision making
This is why in making our decisions we need to seek Godly counsel.  Passages such as Proverbs 24:6 speak about the importance of many counselors.  I have found in my life when I have sought the counsel of wiser, older Pastors or other Christians, many of the blindspots in my decision making have been avoided.  In some cases, some decisions have been put on hold or even given a red-light as a result of Godly counsel.

In seeking the "building up" and not "tearing down" of others and God's work, I'm treating the decision making process as pertaining to the "Big-Picture", and not just my "Little Picture".  Matthew 6:33 is a good verse to summarize and close out today's blog - "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." 

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