Episode 95

Biblical Decision-Making

Published on: 11th March, 2024

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In this episode...

Biblical Decision-Making



[00:04] - Intro

[00:38] - The biggest mistake people make when it comes to Biblical decision-making is putting scriptures on the table and God in a closet.

[02:04] - Make sure you are bringing the One who gave the Word on board. Make sure you are glorifying Him in your choices, rather than just yourself. Real-time prayer is one of the best ways to do this.

[03:14] - People tend to cherry-pick scriptures. Use the whole Bible and see the big picture of your situation, too (get all the facts!). 

[04:29] - Be open to the idea that God will fly in the face of your facts or data sometimes.

[05:48] - Avoid black-and-white thinking and accept that God might reveal more to you. Even if things are cloudy to you, trust that they are clear to Him.

[07:06] - Scripture often will contradict what the world tells you. Don’t be afraid to listen to the Word rather than the world.

[09:26] - Don’t get overly controlled by time. Trust that God will allow you the time necessary to make the best decision and that His timeline is correct, regardless of what the world barks at you.

[11:07] - You might be asked through scripture to make a decision that puts you out of your element. Embrace that challenge and see it as an opportunity to grow.

[12:25] - Consider should versus can any time you are consulting the Word for a decision. Should must always precede can — just because you have the technical ability to do something doesn’t mean it is the right choice.

[15:21] - Prayer

[15:57] - Outro/What’s coming up next

Key takeaways:

  • The biggest mistake people make with Biblical decision-making is using scripture but leaving God out of the picture. It’s critical to step back and ensure you are including and glorifying Him and that you are not simply serving your own ego. Real-time prayer can be enormously helpful for this purpose.
  • Good Biblical decision-making means seeing the entirety of the Word rather than cherry-picking the scriptures we like or agree with. We must get all the facts and consider the entire context around the choice to be made. But there might be times when you have to simply listen to God rather than the available data — even experts don’t know everything He does. We must also be careful not to lapse into black-and-white thinking, which can prevent us from interpreting the Word properly during the decision-making process. Remember that even when things aren’t clear to you, they’re clear to God.
  • What scripture tells you to do can directly contradict what the world tells you to do. Don’t allow cancel culture, fear, etc. to stop you from fighting for the right thing. Remember that different action is a good thing — your fruit will distinguish you to others as a follower of Jesus.
  • You likely will be tempted to hurry through decisions given the competitive, rushed nature of the business world. But remember that God’s timing is both different than ours and perfect. He will reveal what you need when you need it. Focus on making the best decision, not necessarily the fastest one.
  • As you strive to use scripture to make choices, try to lean into what will challenge or grow you. Aim for what will allow you to serve in new ways.
  • Should and can are very different things. Should involves values, ethics, or morality, whereas can involves capability. Don’t do something just because you can. Do it because you should. Many scripture stories, such as the tale of Elijah and Jezebel, offer a warning that moving forward just because you have the ability can bring dire consequences if you are not seeking what is right in the eyes of God.


  • Identify the three most important decisions you need to make in the upcoming week. 
  • Find at least one Bible verse that’s relevant to the decisions you identified.
  • Pray and seek counsel from at least one other person on the three decisions you have to make.

What’s coming up next:

If skills and knowledge are equal, it’s increasing visibility that helps you win out. Episode 96 of Faithful on the Clock explains how to make selecting someone else over you unthinkable.

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Hello, everybody, and welcome to the show. What is the show, you ask? Well, this is Faithful on the Clock, the podcast where every lick of the ice cream is meant to get your faith and work aligned. I’m Wanda Thibodeaux, your host, and today, we’re talking about Biblical decision-making. And I’ll be clear, this is for every professional at every level, OK? Because it’s the good decisions you make at the bottom that get you to the top, and it’s the good decisions you make at the top that allow you to continue serving with bigger and bigger influence. So, let’s not delay.


So, getting right into it today, I’ll just let you know that there’s some good additional information on decision-making in Episode 22. But whereas that episode was focused more on, you know, resolutions and resolve, this one is all about using the Bible as your foundation and how to make the Word more of a cornerstone for your choices. All that said, if you were to ask me what I think the biggest mistake people make when they try to make decisions in a Biblical way, it would be that they put scriptures on the table and God in a closet. And what I mean by that is that they can use Bible verses for guidance, but they’re still really working with an ego-based mindset. They’re not really giving God control. They’re just saying, well, I’m gonna use the Bible to see how I can be more prudent or reduce my risk or reduce conflicts or whatever it is. So, for example, they might say, well, OK, the Bible says to seek wise counsel. We find that advice in verses like Proverbs 15:22, and I absolutely think that’s a good thing. You need good mentors and advisors because you’re not gonna have perfect experience or insights on everything. So, count that as one of my tips here. But then people take those verses, and they might form a committee or board or whatnot, and they haven’t even stopped to ask God if the venture they formed the board for is something God wants.


So, what I’m gonna tell you right out of the gate is that, even though it’s fantastic to use the Word to make good choices, you cannot forget to bring the One who gave us the Word on board. So, what does that mean? It means that when you have a decision to make, you have to ask yourself whether the choice is based on yourself or whether it’s based on the Father. You know, who are you really going to be glorifying? You have to look at the motives behind what you are doing and resist the temptation to make a decision that glorifies only you. You have to step back and ask yourself what the influence of that decision is going to be on believers or those who God wants you to minister to. So, one of the best things you can do is go to God in real time. Because, you know, the Bible has a ton of fantastic advice I think is wonderfully evergreen, but we know from psychology, you know, it’s hard to make good choices if we’re stressed, and there’s a lot the Bible doesn’t directly address. So, you need to be praying and talking to God about the choice you’re facing if only to give away the anxiety you’ve got about it. So, that’s the first thing.


The second thing is, I think we as human beings, and I’ll admit, I haven’t been immune from this, I think we have a tendency to cherry-pick the scriptures we pull out for guidance. You know, we pick the ones that agree with our own thinking or our own biases or the way we already are living. The problem with that is that, because we’re not seeing everything God has said in the Word, there’s a really high risk we’re gonna end up doing something He doesn’t want us to do. We’re gonna end up doing something sinful out of ignorance. So, if you’re gonna base your decision on the Bible, use the whole Bible. See the big picture and the whole context around things. And then, as you’re getting the whole context from scripture, get the whole context for your situation, too. So, that just means, get all the facts. Really consider all of the potential consequences around your options. Proverbs 18:13 says, “To answer before listening, that is folly and shame.” And Proverbs 27:12 says, “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty.” So, you can’t be rushing through and not listening to people or not asking good questions.


But the caution I will give here is, be open to the idea that sometimes, God will fly in the face of what you think is fact. He’ll fly in the face of your data. So, like, if you go to a doctor, the doctor is gonna tell you, when you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s it. That’s a fact. But if you go to God, He’s gonna tell you, death isn’t all there is. And in the same way, maybe you’ve got all this data, you’ve analyzed it, and yet God is telling you, on some level, don’t trust that. Trust me. And I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from people, where, you know, logically, it made no sense for them to go in a certain direction, but they listened to God rather than leaning on their own understanding, and God just brought ridiculously amazing things into their lives. So, the point there is, you need to be seeking truth constantly. And sometimes, what is truth can be hard to figure out, and in those situations, you just need to remember John 14:6 where Jesus tells you, He’s the way, the truth, and the life, OK? You’re gonna have to trust Him to show you what the reality is, because I’m telling you, a lot of these experts, they’re not necessarily trying to go against God or hurt anybody, but they just don’t know what God knows.


The last thing I want to say that’s related to this idea of facts is that people have a tendency to think in absolutes. It’s what we call black-and-white thinking. But that bias really can blind us to how we interpret scripture and, as a result, the choices we make. And part of this tendency is this desire we have to want to definitively know. We wanna be able to go to others with our decisions and say that we’re 100 percent confident so that they’ll trust and respect us. But sometimes, we just can’t. We’re not gonna be able to get all the information, or there are just way too many variables to juggle. So, we have to accept that sometimes things are not black and white, and sometimes God still has a lot to reveal that we don’t know. So, I’ll give you a quote from the Daily Bible Message website. They had a post that said, “The Lord has promised that he will guide those who devote themselves to him. He never promised a roadmap; he promised to take our hand and walk with us.” So, if things aren’t as clear as you expected, that’s OK. Don’t let the fact things are fuzzy to you blind you to the fact they’re crystal clear to Him. Just understand that He’s still right with you, even when you’re a little confused or unsure.


Which leads me to point number three. A lot of what is in scripture that can inform your decision-making is going to directly contradict what the world tells you to do. And to that point, Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” And another good verse to remember that can help you remember not to chase the rewards of the world is Proverbs 22:1, and that says, “A good name is to be more desired than great riches, favor is better than silver and gold.” So, don’t make your decisions based on cancel culture, fear, or those kinds of things. What’s popular isn’t always right, and part of being a champion for yourself, others, and God is being willing to fight for the right thing, even when others don’t recognize what the right thing even is. You have a duty to protect and steward. That’s what service is, OK? So, I don’t want you to look at your scriptures and make a rushed decision, like I said, based on cherry-picking, that’s just gonna play into immediate gratification. You can’t let all the emotions around what other people might think or what you want to happen get the best of you. If it’s in God’s Word, that’s what you do. And don’t be afraid of that. Because remember, Jesus says in Matthew 7:16, it’s by people’s fruits that you know whether they serve God or not. So, if you’re not doing what the world is doing, if you’re making a decision that God’s gonna love but the world puts up its eyebrows at, that’s exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re absolutely supposed to break the status quo in the decisions you make based on His laws so other people can look at you, know who you serve, and understand Who God is. So, remember, God’s said, Joshua 1:9, He tells you, be strong and courageous. You’ve gotta be willing, when you find an answer in scripture or through prayer, to stand up for that answer and not back down, regardless of what other people might be pushing you to do. Don’t ever let all the noise of the world contradict the guidance of God. Always be moving toward the options that are going to improve how you can witness or that are going to keep your integrity strong.


Fourthly, don’t get so controlled by time. There are gonna be so many instances where other people are on your back about a deadline, and there’s always going to be this pressure to get there before the next guy. But when you’ve got God, your timing can never be off, because His timing is always perfect. So, just relax. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that there is a time for everything, but the thing is, we don’t know what that ideal time is. We like to think we do, but we don’t. Only God knows when something truly is supposed to happen. And His sense of time is different than ours. 2 Peter 3:8 says that to Him, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. So, I can guarantee that, when we’re getting all uptight thinking our minutes are running out, He’s got a way better perspective. He’s not freaking out about it. So, don’t get lost in the clock. Focus on making the best decision, not necessarily the fastest one, OK? Now, it might be that God makes an answer from scripture jump out or He answers you right away. But it might be in other cases that He wants to teach you some patience and trust. So, if you need a little more time to study what the Word says or to seek counsel from your pastor or other strong believers, trust that that is time He’s gonna give to you. It’s a gift. Just take it. Because I can’t guarantee you won’t lose some things you expected if you drag your feet a little. I can’t guarantee others won’t be upset with you. But I can guarantee that you’ll gain what God knows you need and wants you to have.


So one other element I want to highlight is growth. You might have heard this quoted in a few different ways, but the idea is that, if you have to choose between different things, always choose the thing that’s going to grow you, or pick the thing that’s a little scarier. And the idea is that when we opt for something we haven’t done or that’s new, we have an opportunity to learn and develop. So, if you’re gonna put that in the Biblical decision-making context, what it means is, when you are looking at God’s Word, you might find He’s asking you to do something where you’re really out of your element, or that you’re just not familiar with. And what I want you to do is embrace that and see it as an opportunity to improve your faith. It’s an opportunity to serve in ways you haven’t. It’s an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and see even more of what He’s capable of through you. And I bring this up, too, because in total honesty, sometimes the Bible can be a little confusing. There have been lots of times I’ve studied and cross-referenced, and I’m like, what does it mean? Sometimes there can be verses that might support different options, and so you want to be thinking honestly about your strengths and weaknesses and, all other things being equal, lean toward the option that can address gaps you might have.


The last point I want to make is that, when you’re getting into the Word to make an important choice, always consider should versus can. There are a lot of things you technically can do. But there are far fewer things that you should do. See, can is just capability. It’s whether you have the skills or resources to do something. Should is ethics and morality. It’s values. And the rule is, should always needs to precede can, OK? When you look at your options, don’t be ruled by whether something is possible for you to do. Be ruled by whether that thing is appropriate to do. And I’m gonna tell you, 9 times out of 10, appropriate means helpful and compassionate. It can mean just sometimes, too. Sometimes, appropriate means delivering joy. But serving out of love is always underneath it. So, to give you an example of what I’m talking about, take the story of Elijah and Jezebel in Elijah 18 and 19. Jezebel wasn’t following God, and she had a ton of power. So, she was killing off the prophets of God. She technically had that ability. But God very quickly presented what was right and made what she and other people should do clear. He used Elijah to destroy the false prophets Jezebel had allowed to thrive and to lead the people back to God. In the same way, look at the story of King David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. David, as king, he had the authority to demand someone else’s wife sleep with him. He had the authority to send Bathsheba’s husband into battle so he’d die. And he did those things. But those things weren’t in line with God. And so the child David had with Bathsheeba died. That was the consequence God gave. So, when you think about these examples, really consider not only whether the choice in front of you is what God would want, but what the influence on others is going to be. So, for example, maybe you have the option to lay off a quarter of your workforce. Maybe that’s good for the company budget. But is that the most moral thing to do? Maybe it actually is, depending on the circumstances. Or take AI. Maybe you can use it to sell content you didn’t write. But is using that technology for that purpose the moral thing when real writers need jobs? The point is, make sure you understand the reason behind the choice you’re making. Don’t just do it, you know, to beat a competitor or make money, or because the name of innovation demands almighty progress. Don’t do it just to get accolades for it to puff up your own pride. Choose an option because it’s the right thing, because when the rubber meets the road, righteousness is the only thing you get to bring with you into eternity.


So, with that thought, let’s take a moment to pray.

God, I thank you for the fact that you allow us to make choices. But I recognize that, in that allowance, there’s a lot of responsibility. So, God, please don’t let us take that responsibility lightly. Keep our eyes open. Make us hungry for the Words you’ve said, for time in prayer, so that we can understand how to be good stewards and help other people. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


All right, everybody. I’ve gotta log off and move out. You probably have plenty to do, too. On the next episode of the show in two weeks, I’m gonna be talking about how to make yourself impossible to miss in your industry and what that means for both your career and Christian walk. In the meantime, check out faithfulontheclock.captivate.fm to subscribe to the show or sign up for our email list, and you can also check out our YouTube channel full of inspiring videos at youtube.com/@faithfulontheclock. Until then, people, be blessed.

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Faithful on the Clock
Faithful on the Clock is a podcast meant to get your Christian faith and work aligned. You won’t find mantras or hacks here--just scripture-based insights to help you grow yourself, your company, and your relationship with God. If you want out of the worldly hamster wheel and want to work with purpose, then this is the show for you. Hosted by freelance business writer Wanda Thibodeaux.
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Wanda Thibodeaux

Wanda Marie Thibodeaux is a freelance writer based in Eagan, MN. Since 2006, she has worked with a full range of clients to create website landing pages, product descriptions, articles, professional letters, and other content. She also served as a daily columnist at Inc.com for three years, where she specialized in content on business leadership, psychology, neuroscience, and behavior.

Currently, Thibodeaux accepts clients through her website, Takingdictation.com. She is especially interested in motivational psychology, self-development, and mental health.