DECISIVENESS – A Four-Minute Sermon
Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Contributed by Rev. Clyde C. Miller
Senior Pastor (Retired), First Christian Assembly of God, Cincinnati, OH
February 18, 2001
THE FOUR R’S IN DECISION-MAKING
Ever sat at a restaurant with an indecisive friend? Your friend pours over the menu like it’s his or her last meal, then grills the server with “how’s your this?” or “how’s your that?” It seems your friends’ reason for being there is to either memorize the menu or to put off ordering as long as possible. It can drive you nuts!
What causes indecisiveness?
Could it be fear of disappointment? (I just know I’ll wish I had ordered something else). Is it fear of being misperceived? Maybe it’s the fear of rejection? Or “D”, all of the above? Whatever, –indecisiveness can cause missed opportunities, to say nothing of insomnia and ulcers.
How can you overcome indecisiveness? Let’s try.
Let me paint a word picture to help us out. First, can you imagine a Rail Road crossing with its large white X? In the left and right quadrant of the big X is a big, black capital “R”. Of course, the big X with its R’s symbolizes that just ahead, a Rail Road crosses an automobile thoroughfare. Everything about the sign says, “Proceed with caution”.
Now, imagine the same sign, except with an “R” in each of the X’s four quadrants. What would such a sign say in symbols? I want to use the sign as the symbol of THE FOUR R’s OF DECISION-MAKING. Such a sign would symbolize, with its big X, that two choices are on a collision course. The result? –Indecision. This sign-symbol can become a good memory tool for you when you face a choice with the ache of decision throbbing in your head.
What are the Four R’s of Decision-making? They are Rule, Reason, Road, Revelation. Let me explain.
- R # 1 stands for RULE. As you are trying to make up your mind, ask: Is there a natural law involved here? If so, am I resisting it or going with its flow? For the Christian, there is a still deeper question: Is there a Scriptural directive or rule which directs my decision? For instance, the Bible says “You shall not lie” (Exodus 20:16). So, if you are thinking of telling a lie, you know what your decision must be. There’s a rule, –and you know what is right, so do it.
- R # 2 stands for REASON. There’s nothing wrong with using your head, trying to reason things out. Think of your options, and weigh the consequences or rewards of choosing each. And there’s nothing wrong with getting input from others. In fact, there is Scriptural precedence: “In a multitude of counselors (advisors), there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14). Solomon, the wisest, was simply saying, “Two heads are better than one.”
- R # 3 stands for ROAD. Simply put, it is this question: Is the road (or door) open or closed? You can ask God to open the door or make a way if He wants you to proceed, or close the door if not. Revelation 3:8 reveals Christ as One who can “put before you an open door (road) which no man can shut…” God doesn’t usually ask you to jump through a wall, but if He should, it’s your job to jump and God’s job to make a hole.
Finally, if you have applied the first three “R’s” and still can’t make a decision, then R # 4 may be for you.
- R # 4 stands for REVELATION. God will reveal to you what you should choose to do or not do. It’s a safe bet that if you’ve done the best you can, you can count on God to do the rest. He is a loving God who not only knows and cares about your future, but also about your present peace of mind. He will, in His own unique way and right time, reveal His will to you. And remember, He may not be early, but He’s never late!
So, when you’ve done all you can to make the right decision, -give it a rest! Don’t surrender to the second-guessing game. When you come to the inevitable fork in the road, you have this promise: “you will hear a voice behind you, saying, “this is the way. Walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21). –That’ll be God, and He’s there to help you make healthy, happy choices.
TITLE: THE FOUR R’S IN DECISION-MAKING
- Indecisiveness in a restaurant.
- What causes indecisiveness?
- Four R’s of decision-making
This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.