Explore Opportunities: 12 Keys to Making Good Choices

By on April 13, 2014
Poppy Smith graduation photo

By Poppy Smith –

When you DARE TO DREAM, it often involves stepping out into something that stretches both your faith and your mind.  That’s what I did a few years ago and graduated from seminary with a Masters in Spiritual Formation and Direction as a post mid-life woman.

I wasn’t sure if I had what it took, but the classes were all about my passion—knowing and growing closer to God—so I decided to take the risk. I took the challenges I wrote about in I’m Too Young to Be This Old, and I’m so glad I did!

Now I get to spur you on to dream about what God has laid on your heart—given your gifts, passions, and desire to be His person in your time and place in history.

Every DREAM requires prayer and thought, as well as checking to see if it fits with God’s path for you. To help you make good choices, here are 12 key questions to ask yourself:

1.  Will this path lead me closer to the Lord?

2.  Will this path increase my faith or undermine it or draw me away from God?

3.  Is seeking God at the core of what I want for my life?

4.  Is this choice consistent with my claim to be a follower of Christ?

Begin your choice by keeping the end in view. Ask:

5.   What kind of person do I want to be?

6.  What do I want my legacy to be?

7.  How do I want my life to turn out?

8.  Ask a friend: Do you see this decision fitting with who I am and what God is doing in my life?

9.  Is this choice consistent with what I know of the character and heart of God?

10.  Will this choice continue what God is doing in my life?

11.  As you visualize offering your decision to God or giving it as advice to someone else, do you feel peace or do you feel unrest?

12.  Do you have joy or uneasiness as you make this decision?

Let me encourage you to reflect on Jeremiah 6:16: This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Stand: In other words: Stop! Don’t race through decisions.

Look: At both the short term and long term ramifications. Don’t make a choice just to get relief from it weighing you down. Wisdom requires looking at the short- and long-term consequences, not just for you but for others as well and for your witness. Think carefully, be quiet, and listen to God.

Crossroads: Are places where your decision could change the direction of your life and affect who you become. There are always consequences, or outcomes, positive or negative from our choices. Ask yourself: Will my choices cause me to dry up spiritually because I’ve drifted along or will I keep growing and becoming more like Christ and serving Him?

If you discover you’re going the wrong way, you can always turn around and go back. You can also reach out to others who are drifting the wrong way to support and invite them back with the grace of God.

Ask: Ask these 12 questions of yourself, and ask God. Use prayer and discernment as you consider these questions. Don’t be foolish and charge ahead, ignoring flashing red lights at the crossroads. Emotions are not indicators of God’s will. They make wonderful servants but terrible masters. God has given you a mind to think, weigh, and make decisions that will bless your life and others (Proverbs 3:5-8).

So, stand, look, and ask God. Then walk in obedience to His leading. The outcome? Both inner rest and joy—plus a lot of hard work (at least in my case) as you move forward!

Let’s Talk: I’ve been thrilled to hear this week from a sister in Kenya who is daring to dream about a ministry to help children go further in their education. What is on your heart? I’d love you to write a comment below.

Originally posted at: Poppy Smith Inspiring Women to Thrive

Poppy Smith is funny, warm, and passionate about helping women grow spiritually and personally so they experience the love and power of Christ in life’s ups and downs. A former teaching leader with Bible Study Fellowship, Poppy has a Masters in Spiritual Formation and ministers extensively as a retreat and conference speaker both in the US and around the world. For more information about Poppy’s heart, her books and ministry, please visit her website at http://www.poppysmith.com/.

 

About Poppy Smith

Born in England to a non-believing family, Poppy grew up there and in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Kenya. She met her American husband in Nairobi and they soon moved to the United States. The adjustment to her new marriage and new country, combined with loneliness and the loss of all that was familiar, brought Poppy to a defining moment with God. The resulting change, from anger to acceptance, from fighting God to seeking Him, led her into a life-long love of Scripture and the One it reveals. Her website: http://www.poppysmith.com/.

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Explore Opportunities: 12 Keys to Making Good Choices