How do I know if the choices I make are correct? How do I know if the way I chose to go is the best? I am not thinking about the everyday choices though choices are sure to be made today. I am thinking about big life choices: should I get more education, where should I get the education, should I continue to date this person, should I ask her to marry me, should I get a new job, should I move to a new place, should I get this medical procedure, should I divorce, retire, give up? After all, “The way of a fool seems right to him” as much as a wise man.
Solomon says that the wise listen to advice. Yet, one important fact is omitted. I need to take into account the person giving the advice. The character Christian in the second most-sold book in printing history “Pilgrim’s Progress” meets several people who give him terrible advice. 1:20, 21, 25, and 30 state that the wise listen to the advice of wisdom. Sometimes I accept someone’s advice because it lines up with a foolish decision I already decided in my heart to do.
St. Ignatius learned meditation from the Benedictines monks. He developed that into the Examen, a five-step meditation practice that he believed opened up a Christian to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He taught that the Holy Spirit would reveal the inner heart’s desire which is in line with God’s will for me. I learned of this around 4 years ago and it has helped. Yet I keep in mind Jesus’ words, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
I believe that the answer to how to make the right life decisions includes listening to wise advice, meditation, knowing the Bible, and prudent sound reasoning. Once a decision is made don’t look back and second guess. Don’t ask me, “What if?” Simply pray, “Lord Jesus, I want to make the right choice which is your will. I have made this choice. If it is the best choice help me reach the goal you have set for me. Wash me with your blood. Fill me with your Spirit. Let me know your will. Give me all that is needed to carry through.”