Decision-Making and Discipleship

I believe that every time we make a decision for someone else that they could make themselves, we hinder their growth. When I make decisions for my life I grow from them. When someone makes the decisions for me, they rob me of that opportunity for growth.

Even when we make the decision poorly, even when we make a mistake, we learn more than when someone “older and wiser” makes our decision for us. In fact, I suspect that we learn the most when we make those mistakes.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to children, and others who don’t have the capacity to make decisions on their own.

The Apostle Paul knew this lesson; in fact, this may be the primary lesson of his letter to Philemon: “Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love's sake I rather appeal to you --being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ…”

Paul was clear: he could make the decision, he knew the right decision to make, and he had the authority to make the decision, but he deferred to Philemon to make the decision [about what to do with his runaway slave Onesimus]. Paul deferred to Philemon’s decision on the topic. And Paul gives every indication that he will support Philemon’s decision, even though the life of his “son” Onesimus hung in the balance.

Pastors make this mistake often, and congregants very often encourage the mistake. So many decisions are held for the pastor to make, decisions about what doctrines we believe, about how to handle certain difficult individuals, what we’re going to do in our worship of God when we get together.

We could go on and discuss how others make this mistake: either we make decisions for others (wives, kids, parishioners, employees) or we defer decisions that we can (and should) make to others (wives, parents, pastors, bosses, mentors, board of elders).

If we’re going to “grow up in all things into Him who is the head, even Christ…,” then we need to make the decisions as for DOWN the chain of authority as they can be made, even if mistakes are made. And we need to be committed to the individuals making the decisions, supporting them before, during and after the decisions.

Frankly, it’s nearly always more important that believers learn to stand on their own two feet in making decisions, than it is that we make the right decisions every time. If we’re afraid to make mistakes, nobody can grow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This seemed to stir up something in me.So here we go. Kenneth Hagin made an observation He stated that in all His years of travel He said He had seen some fine ministers. Smart talented anointed but He couldn't discuss doctorine or speak in a spiritually mature manner with many of the laymen in their church because they had not leaned to feed themselves the Word or develop to a maturity of their spiritual man they never learned to feed themselves. He said it was just the opposite in a church where the minister loved the Lord didn't have all the training and never claimed to know it all or take the responsibility to make all your descions. He said in that kind of church He said he met laymen more knowledgable in the Word concerning even Hard things and more spiritually mature than some of the ministers He met.He said the difference was they weren't spoon fed everything and dogmatic about their leaders influence. They got hungry learned to feed themselves and developed in their relationship with God. Not in a rebellious way but they wanted to Know God. That being said sadly religion bad doctorine and not having senses developed by reason of use to disceren good and evil because you where such a respecter of men(your leader) may be one of the number one killers of Christians. Sadly many ministers support it ,some even claiming it is their right and duty which may be applicable for a spiritual child but it is written Sons of God will be led by the SPIRIT doesn't do away with 5 ministry gifts but does change their response and our responsibility.Example well known evangelist tells me get under the pastor submit. I make an appointment "my conscience is bothering now" I tell my pastor I am thinking about stepping down from my job it's very physical it's an act of God I can do it. I think I need to deal with the medical problems the doctors have found. NO! don't do that believe God for the same money year around Work. 2 weeks later I was crippled and have been for over 2 years. It"s my fault I over rode my conscience because of the undercover doctorine but He didn't bother to ask God about it either He gave me His healing prosperity doctorine. Imagine my surprise seven months ago as I walk into a revival the guest speaker looks at me calls the entire church to pray for me and says who is man they should tell me. I have set you in that office and will reveal the mighty prophetic anointing I have placed on you. Yet I still can't work ? Discipleship to me eventually will equal sonship but I take all things back to God now and always plan to from this point on.If in His mercy I will teach ministers and laymen the absoloute necessity for balance and the need to seek God in all things pertaining to your own life and others. Lest someone be hurt and fall or fade away because of another.