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Lets say a Christian is in a position where he must make a hard decision (assume it has to either be a yes or no by a deadline) and each one has negatives consequences (more negatives than positives). How should a Christian pick one option over another?

Both options can and will affect the future of himself and others, but it is impossible to tell which one will impact the least or which one is a better decision, only time will tell.

Based on Christian teaching, if Jesus specifically was talking to that person, how would he advise, or what are some things he would tell the person to keep in mind?

I am sorry it is not specific but I can't put details to it. So if it helps, the main part of the question is how should a Christian put a decision in God's hands if he really doesn't see a logical answer but has to pick one? (I am also assuming the person was put into making that decision by God?... since he would rather not be in such a situation...)

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closed as primarily opinion-based by curiousdannii, fredsbend, Matt Gutting, David Jan 20 '15 at 22:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Well, there's Biblical precedent for drawing lots. How about a coin toss? – TRiG Apr 15 '12 at 0:45
My father-in-law has a phrase that I've adopted: "We made the best decision we could with the information given at the time." In other words, sometimes you'll make a decision the best you can, and it still turns out bad. That doesn't mean it was a bad decision, it often means you didn't have all the necessary information. In any case, you learned something either way. – David Morton Apr 16 '12 at 11:38
David, very true...... – Greg McNulty Apr 19 '12 at 22:53
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I seem to be answering a lot of your questions. Anyways I hope that I can help again.

Part of our being here is to be tested, which means that sometimes we will be faced with decisions like this. Both seem sucky and it doesn't seem like any inspiration is coming on what we should do. At those times its often best just to pick one and then move forward with it. We may not see it now or even for years but there is a reason for going through what we go through.

(KJV) 2 Corinthians 1:6-7 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7) And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

Here Paul is saying, yea sometimes we suffer and don't know what to do but if we are stedfast and endure it well we shall not only partake in suffering but we shall take part in the consolation. It doesn't give us a solution but if we have faith it can give us comfort and most importantly it can give us hope. Which is what is needed to endure anything well.

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thank you...... – Greg McNulty Apr 14 '12 at 4:59

Proverbs 3:5-6 says

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

Elsewhere in Proverbs (16:9 / 20:24), it says

A man plans his path, but the Lord directs his steps.

The consistent pattern I keep seeing is that if we are faithful to provide the motion, God is faithful to provide direction. Indeed, the case of Jonah, even when Jonah was not faithful, God used Jonah's movement but ultimately steered. (I've been known to say, God will gladly kick the sides to steer, but not the butt to move!)

The point that I'm making (and it would be consistent with Rom 8:28 as well) is that God will ultimately use your faithfulness to accomplish what he desires, regardless of whether or not you made the "right" choice.

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that a good Biblical perspective.. – Greg McNulty Apr 14 '12 at 23:28

Recently, I have learnt something that will forever stick in my head.

Jesus' prayer in the garden is something we should not be take lightly as I have always done. All the pain and torture, insults, whips, strength to carry the cross and face shame before all men was about to begin within a very short time. It was one big moment of his life. He had to get ready for the consequences of what ever he will do from there. He asked the disciples for the third time to help him in prayer but they slept. He went into prayer for the 3rd time concerning the same issue with his father with sweat and heaviness oozing like blood. He was strengthened right there.

This is the Son of Man, the Perfect man, asking for God's help how much more you, who knows nothing.

You should understand why we are sheep and the Lord our Shepherd. For we foolishly move about not knowing where we are going, even to the edge of the cliff, but He will guide us.

"Don't go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many counselors." Proverbs 24:6, NLT This big decision you are facing is your war at the moment, let God be your big time Counselor.

"My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;" Proverbs 2:1-3

But please, there is a way you should ask God for help, with FAITH.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:5

After prayer, just make a move, after weighing the pros and cons and still confused, go on and choose, He has just directed you.

And never act on your own again even when the decision seems easy to make. No matter how logical your plan in mind could be, pray over it. I will end with this for you.

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. IN ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.." Proverbs 3:5-7

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nicely put, very helpful, thank you. I definitely need to work on the wavering part.... – Greg McNulty Apr 14 '12 at 7:34

On the Alpha course Nicky Gumbel dedicates a whole session to, "How Does God Guide Us?" His answer is s list which he calls "the five CSes", to keep them memorable. They are:

  1. Commanding Scripture i.e. the Bible. God will not tell us to do something forbidden by Scripture.
  2. Counselling Spirit (earlier called Controlling Spirit, which was changed probably because The Holy Spirit does not control) i.e. The Holy Spirit who gives us whispers, impressions or visions of what God's will is.
  3. Counsel of the Saints i.e. getting wise advice from other (typically more than one) Christians.
  4. Circumstantial Signs i.e. something happens that makes doing what you believe tho be God's will easier, people frequently speak of "a door opening".
  5. Common Sense i.e. God may ask us to do counter intuitive things, but not something outright stupid.

Hope this helps.

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Greg, I think I am answering the body of your question, but perhaps not the title, the "no logical answer" part. If this answer is not suitable please let me know and I will delete. – Wikis Apr 14 '12 at 21:12
This is helpful thanks. also, I will have a closer look at the Aplha program, thank you. – Greg McNulty Apr 14 '12 at 21:19
I strongly recommend The Alpha Course to anyone who wants to deepen their faith or to those who are not believers but want to find out more. – Wikis Apr 14 '12 at 21:23

When we say that a decision is "difficult", that generally means one of three things: 1. We don't have enough information to determine which option is better. 2. No option is clearly wiser or morally superior, and we don't know what criteria to apply. Or 3. We know the right thing to do, but it is hard and we'd rather not do it.

Let me first deal with #3. Often when people say they are wrestling with a difficult moral problem, what they really mean is that they know what's right, but doing the right thing will be inconvenient or cost them money or cause embarassment or some such. Like, "I've met a woman who is younger and prettier than my wife. We love each other deeply. Should I divorce my wife and run off with this other woman?" Obviously the answer is "No!" The problem isn't that you don't know the right thing to do. It's that you don't want to do it.

Items #1 and #2 may or may not have a moral or spiritual dimension. Sometimes it's purely pragmatic concerns. Like, if you're choosing between two jobs, each might have many pros and cons. A pays better, but I think I would like working at B more. Of course everything you do is spiritual in some sense.

If no option you are facing is clearly morally superior, then you must evaluate it on a temporal basis.

Simple steps: Is there a clear moral issue? If so, do what is right, and leave it at that.

Does God offer any guidance in his Word? Is there a clear Biblical teaching? Is there some Biblical principle that can be applied?

Failing that, pray for guidance, use your best judgement, seek advice if appropriate. Then make a decision and leave it in God's hands.

One little lesson I've learned: Once you bought something, don't keep shopping for it. I mean that literally and metaphorically. I've had plenty of times that I've had to make some non-trivial purpose and so I've spent a bunch of time researching the market, etc. Then I've made a choice and bought something. Then I kept searching for better deals. Of course unless I actually managed to find the absolute best deal in the world the first time, if I keep looking, sooner or later I'll find someting better, and then I'll be upset. Why bother? When you've made a decision, live with it and be at peace. There's notihng to be gained by agonizing over whether it was the right choice forever. Could you have made a better choice? If you looked harder, could you have found a better job or a better wife or whatever? Maybe. but so what?

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