Monday, March 19 , 2018, 10:03 pm | Fair 55º


Jim Langley: Making the Most of Decisions of the Heart

Life is filled with one decision after another. How we make those decisions can vary immensely.

Frankly, I’ve noticed that most decisions are made without even a second thought. Unfortunately, some of those quickly made decisions may have a great consequence on our lives or the lives of those near us.

That’s not to say that we need to weigh every decision for the potential outcome, but we would be wise to bring our heart into the decision-making process. Let’s go to my favorite book, the Bible, to see what it says on this topic.

In 1 Samuel 13:14, the prophet Samuel tells King Saul, “But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

The first king of Israel simply blew it! Saul took things into his own hands at Gilgal, not waiting the full seven days for Samuel to arrive and conduct the prescribed sacrificial burnt offering.

Apparently, Saul was greatly concerned that his troops were becoming impatient and were starting to scatter. He admitted to Samuel that he was afraid the Philistines would soon attack. His disobedience and poor judgment cost him greatly.

I’d like you to think back to some of the poor decisions you’ve made in your life. Personally, some of my worst decisions were impulsive and there was little thought or consideration made for those around me and the effect it might have on their lives.

Certainly, I no longer dwell on those decisions, but I have learned from those past tactical errors. These days I’ve come to see that it’s not about me, and now my No. 1 concern is how God will see my actions and how it might affect the lives of others.

In a nutshell, that’s what heart decisions are all about.

In Psalm 90, which is described as a prayer of “​Moses the man of God,” verses 11 and 12 convey “Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Moses knew God intimately and learned from those poor decisions in his life.

King Solomon instructs us in Proverbs 23:15-18, “My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

That’s an important lesson that we need to learn in life. Fearing — having reverence — for the Lord is critical in coming to grips with the decisions of the heart.

In Ecclesiastes 5:1-3, King Solomon shares some special words of wisdom. He writes, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.”

You see, there is much to be gained by making decisions of the heart rather than impulsively going through life. Our Heavenly Father wants us to have a wonderful experience here on earth for the short time we’re here. Heed his word and your life will be more meaningful to you and your loved ones.

The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel both prophesied a new covenant that was forthcoming. We all can have a “new heart” that will let us see God and others in a totally new light. This new heart comes from a right relationship with Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord. He’s the One who gives us this right heart attitude.

Please join me in knowing Him and His glorious existence!

Passages to Ponder

» Psalms 119:9-16

» Psalms 139:23-24

» Proverbs 21:1-4

» Jeremiah 24:7

» Jeremiah 32:39-40

» Ezekiel 11:19-20

» Ezekiel 36:26-27

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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