Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Making decisions

O.K. so maybe I'm obsessed about making decisions or something but I have been thinking a bit about this and I reckon there are three basic ways we make decisions in our life.

Active decision making - The first way what I call active decision making. This is the thing we do throughout our life of picking between different options based on the perceived merits of each. So this includes decisions like...
PC or Mac
Call of Duty or Bad Company 2
Going to university or getting a job
Moving to Oxford or Moving to Cambridge
Taking one Job or taking another
Getting married or staying single
Eating cereal for breakfast or eating toast

This is the way we normally think about decision making. We normally think of the vast array of things we decide on throughout our life. The specific examples will change but we all make many decisions like this.

Decision making by neglect - So the second way we make decisions is what I call decision making by neglect. This is all the decisions we make because we never even think of them as options. This includes decisions such as...
Deciding not to kill someone today
Deciding not to take up pilates
Deciding not to get a job as a professional plate juggler
Deciding not to paint my house orange

Now the individual examples may not apply to you (or me) but what I am talking about here is that whole host of things which we never decide to do because we actually never think about them or consider them as options. It's not that we make a conscious decision to not do these things it's just that by never thinking about them we decide not to do them.

Decision making by default - The third way we make decisions is what I call decision making by default. This represents all those things which we never decide either to do or not to do but which our lives decide for us. This includes decisions such as...
Getting fat - You don't sit there and decide I am going to get fat but by each day eating more than you should practically you have made that decision
Not going to lectures - You may not decide you're not going to go to tomorrow's lecture but by staying up until 6:00AM practically you have made that decision

Now it strikes me that when it comes to becoming a Christian or not many people make this decision either by neglect or by default, That is to say that many people go through their lives without ever thinking about whether they are going to become a Christian or not. They therefore make the decision not to by neglect. Others go through their life never mixing with Christians, never going to church, never reading the Bible, never finding out about Christianity and therefore although they would describe themselves as open to Christianity their lifestyle makes the decision not to become a Christian by default.

Jesus says that he came to divide people and the division he makes is based on what people make of him. Let me encourage you to make an active decision about Jesus rather than making it by neglect or default!

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