Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reaching the Cut-Off Point

“But Daniel purposed in his heart…” (Daniel 1:8)

I read recently that the word “decide” comes from the Latin word, “decidere,” meaning, “to cut off.” It was suggested that this might be why some people have such a hard time coming to a real decision. It cuts off the possibility of other options.

I agree.

So, if a true decision involves a cut off, I think it’s safe to say, some of us spend most of our lives trying out options instead of making decisions. We live in a time when it’s much easier to go from job to job, relationship to relationship, even spouse to spouse, without much of a hassle, than it was when our parents and grandparents lived. Now, it seems, it may be just a matter of finding our niche or true “soul-mate.” And I understand that a snap, or ill-advised choice may need to be abandoned from time to time; but what I am saying is that purposing in our hearts, like Daniel, describes precious few of our so-called decisions. Many of us say, “Here’s what I’ve decided to do,” as easily as we say, “Here’s what I’ve decided to wear.”

We like to say, “Choices have consequences,” and this is true. But not all choices have irreversible consequences. Some people have learned from childhood how to weasel out of their poor choices. In their case, the most obvious consequence is a marred, weak character; and why, when they are faced with a truly dire, irrevocable consequence, they’re devastated.

One sure way to know that we have not truly made one of those cut off decisions is if we find ourselves experiencing, not necessarily feelings of regret, just those nagging thoughts of “what if.” I’ve heard my husband say, “Every thing in our lives that is not settled is where Satan will fight us.” In fact, he has a message taken from the first six words in Luke 2:14, entitled, “Settle It Therefore.”

I am exercised about this in my own life. Every choice may not—should not—be a cut-off decision; but some should be, and treated as such. There ought to be decisions I have made in my life that are not up for discussion. I have some of them; but I am convinced I should have more. I have an idea that the stability of our lives is strongly linked to the strength of our decisions. If they are shallow, so will be our lives.

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