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Some days we don’t know what to do

Not just what to do, but the best choice to make in the moment. The wisest decision for the long term. For the person standing in front of us.

Just yesterday I found an empty chair and put my head in my hands. I was frustrated. I didn’t want my emotions — which were all over the place — to rule.

In those hard places, we can be honest with God.

Lord, I have no idea which way to go next, but I trust you’ll show me. Give me the words to say and the words to hold back. See these emotions all over the place? I need direction. 

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. James 1:5-6 (The Msg)

I’m not going to pretend that I’m all-wise, but there are 10 questions that I’ve learned to ask myself when wisdom feels elusive.

#1 – Have I prayed about this?

When we pray, the Lord will lead toward wisdom rather than away. He desires the best for us.

#2 – Have I acknowledged how I feel?

Stuffing our feelings is never healthy. We don’t have to wallow in them or shout them out to the world, but we do need to give them room to breathe. Acknowledge them.

I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m confused. I feel let down. I feel out of control. I feel alone. 

God already sees this, because he sees you — and loves you like crazy. Saying them out loud validates the feeling, but also allows us to move beyond them.

#3 – What is the short-term benefits of going with my feelings?

Just as you acknowledged your feelings, be honest about the fact that going with your feelings offers some benefit.

I’ll feel better right now if I [fill in the blank] because [fill in the blank].

#4 – What is the long-term impact?

Now, let’s balance #3 with wisdom. The problem with emotions is that it blinds you to consequences. We know the short-term benefit, but  what is the long-term impact?

On you. On your child. On that relationship.

Factor that in.

#5 – What is my role in this?

When I asked this question yesterday, I had a role to play. There was one thing I could do. But not before praying. Not before asking God to show me his heart in it. Not before I took a deep breath and let my brain catch up with my emotions.

What is your role? What can you do? What is God asking you to do? What is the right time and right way to do that?

#6 – What is not my role?

You’ll be surprised at how often we are trying to micromanage, fix, or do what someone else should be doing. It’s frustrating and sets us up for failure. It’s also exhausting. Put those down. I know it’s hard, but you’ll be surprised at how life changing this is. It will take practice, but the more we do it, the more energy we have left over to play our role.

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#7 – Who am I listening to?

Who has your ear? Who is affirming your choices? Who is speaking into this situation? That can range from God to people to social media. Be honest about this.

#8 – Does that person’s life reflect wisdom?

There is a difference between someone affirming our bad choices, and someone who loves us enough to speak truth.

Refuse to allow people who are living unwisely in their relationships serve as your counselor.

Refuse to allow people who are deep in debt to affirm unwise spending habits.

Refuse to allow those who lives don’t reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) to tell you how to live.

#9 – Is anyone’s voice louder in my ear than God’s?

If so, be intentional about tuning them out so you can tune in to the One who has a plan and a purpose for you.

#10 – What is the next right step?

Few of us receive a detailed spiritual map of what to do, where to go, or what it’s going to look like in the end. Instead, we take one step at a time. When in doubt, ask this question: What is the next right step?

Then take it.

If you need prayer today as you ask these questions, let us know. I’m praying for you. There’s a team of women praying for you.


Resources just for you

As you walk daily with Christ, you walk wisely. This devotional, Come With Me Devotional: A Yearlong Adventure in Following Jesus, will help you get started.