A Pastor’s Ponderings: The Power of Decision Courage, Conviction and Consequences

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Doug Stauffer Head Shot 2023By Pastor Doug Stauffer

Life’s journey is guided by the decisions we make, shaping our path and defining our future. The Bible offers invaluable advice on making wise choices. James 1:5-8 stresses the importance of seeking God’s wisdom before making a decision. The book of James also says that God promises to give wisdom generously to those who ask. In the same context, James 4:2 says, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” We have all the tools at our immediate disposal.

The book of James also warns against the peril of wavering indecision, likening it to a ship tossed upon the stormy seas. Double-minded people are unstable in all their ways, highlighting the importance of making decisions with faith and conviction. We need to learn to be decisive and avoid being wishy-washy.

Every decision we make has consequences. The story of Christ’s crucifixion illustrates the weight of choices. Pilate, swayed by the clamoring crowd, opted to release Barabbas, a guilty man, instead of Jesus, the innocent Son of God. This decision, driven by fear of others, led to the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Herod’s choice had profound consequences. Our decisions impact us and those around us. We must heed the warnings of scripture and choose wisely, mindful of the unexpected consequences.

Anne Frank’s decision to document her experiences while hiding from the Nazis during the Holocaust has provided a powerful testament to the human spirit and resilience in the face of adversity. Her diary has become one of the most widely read books in the world, inspiring generations to stand against injustices. Because of her wise decision, Anne Frank continues to speak through the written page.

Proverbs provides crucial insights into decision-making, stressing the significance of knowledge, wisdom, and correction. Knowledge lights our path, wisdom guides our steps, and correction fosters our growth. These elements serve as pillars supporting us through both successes and setbacks from every decision we make.

Despite facing opposition from his family, Moses remained steadfast in his commitment to God. Similarly, we may encounter difficult choices that test our allegiance to the Almighty. Like Moses, we must trust in God’s guidance, even when doing so requires us to stand alone.

Ruth’s journey, marked by unwavering trust and obedience, bears witness to the boundless blessings awaiting those who walk in righteousness. Ruth followed Naomi and embraced her God. Her faithfulness was rewarded with blessings beyond measure as she became part of the lineage of Christ. We must emulate Ruth’s unwavering faith, trusting that God will always lead us on the path of righteousness.

The political landscape, too, offers glimpses of decisive leadership that leave indelible marks upon society. Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady,” reshaped the fabric of Britain with her unwavering commitment to conservative principles, leaving a legacy in the annals of history. Her conservative policies, including privatization, deregulation and free-market reforms, reshaped the British economy and society during her tenure from 1979 to 1990.

As we journey through life, let’s seek God’s wisdom and trust in His guidance. Let our decisions be anchored in faith, knowing God will grant us the necessary wisdom if we only ask. May we draw lessons from scripture and the lives of faithful individuals, making wise choices and walking in the light of God’s truth. I pray we will all consider Him as we make our decisions.

Dr. Doug Stauffer is pastor of Faith Independent Baptist Church. He was saved July 6, 1980, in Niceville, while stationed at the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base and has now been in the ministry for over 35 years.