All throughout their lives, we are helping our kids to make good decisions: crossing the street, what sports or activities to do, gifts to give, how to deal with a little sibling, what to wear to a party etc. As the decisions get weightier the decision process can get a little longer. Take heart that in the same way you are with our little kids as they cross the street, the Holy Spirit is with our children as they face the cross roads in life. Here are some articles and summaries on making decisions. Hopefully this can help our families in many stages of life.
Pray. Recognize God’s presence in all that you do. When you pray regularly, you will more easily be able to approach God for help in making a difficult choice, even when you must do so at the spur of the moment. If you haven’t been seeking God regularly, now is a great time to start. He is with you.
Look. What are the options? What would people you respect say about this decision? What does Scripture say? What does the church teach about this? What is logical?
Imagine. Think about the consequences if you choose the way you think you will. How will your life be impacted? How will others be impacted? What would a little child think about it? How would a parent or grandparent think about your choice? How do you feel imagining you decide a particular way? How do you feel imagining you decide a different way?
Choose. If you have done the previous three steps, trust that God is helping you make the right choice. Act on what you have decided.
Evaluate. Ask yourself if your relationship with God and others has improved or worsened because of the choice you made. Do you feel a sense of peace and satisfaction about your choice? If so, thank God. If not, pray for light to know what is the best next step.
Adapted from this good article addressed to teachers at a Jesuit high school:
Here is a similar approach with slightly different steps:
- Talk to Someone You Respect.
- Find Some Solitude.
- Start with What You Know.
- Tell God What It Is That You Desire and What You Fear.
- Let God Speak to You.
- Know That God Has a Plan for You.
- Pray to Do God’s Will.
- Prayerfully Commit.
- Check Out the Fruits. (Discernment is ongoing)
Prayer for a Good Decision
Lord, help me feel Your guiding light today
As I ponder this crucial decision
That can a big impact on my life
Let this choice be in accord with Your will
And the divine plan You have set out for me
Bless those who will be affected
By this decision
That they may accept the path
I have chosen to take
Enlighten those who may disagree
Strengthen me with Your courage
To face all obstacles
Above all grant me the grace to choose
That which is
For Your greater honor and glory.
Bible Inspiration: Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk. I will counsel you . . .