Jimmy’s Table PodcastCuriously evangelical. Politically homeless. A dreamer of small things. On this podcast, I am having conversations about the intersection of faith, life, and culture.

Casting Lots (And Making Hard Decisions) – Episode #76

Casting Lots

Have you ever had to make a really hard decision in life, but didn’t really know what to do? In ancient times, people used to “cast lots” to divine the will of God for their life. In the 21st century, we tend to be a little more sophisticated with making hard decisions.

In today’s podcast, I talk how we can make better decisions when we feel our life is at a crossroads. I share from my own personal story of when I was in my mid-to-late 20’s, and after a lot of major setbacks and failures, was given the option by my parents to start back over, and move back in with them. But instead, I stuck things out, and made the hard decision to keep trying on the path I was on, and how this ultimately worked out for me.

I also talk more about the backstory behind the ancient (and Biblical) idea of “casting lots” in making hard decisions, and how simply “rolling the dice” was actually a radical trust in God to direct the outcomes of our lives. Additionally, I also tell a humorous story about a young Moravian man in the 18th century who asked God for permission to pursue marriage by casting lots… but got a “no” answer 8 years in a row, and what we can learn from such a story in modern times.

How To Make Hard Decisions

  • Weigh the risks: Consider the possible downsides. Only a fool makes decisions without any thought about how things could play out negatively.
  • Consider the rewards: What are the possible upsides? Like doing any risk analysis, we need to consider what the possible “payoff” could be in our decisions, and whether or not they are worth the possible risks.
  • Ask what are your visions and values? Know the stuff you are made of. Take inventory of your life. Who are you and what do you ultimately want? And can you live with the choices you ultimately make?
  • Seek the counsel of trusted individuals. God placed us in community for a reason. No man is an island. The wise counsel of friends will help us make decisions, and make us aware of potential “blind spots” we are otherwise unaware of.
  • Don’t make a decision purely based on your fears, or the easiest choice. 95% of the things we worry about never happen, so when making a hard decision, we should probably assume the worst possible scenario isn’t likely to happen. Nor will probably the best possible scenario. Likely, the way things out will play out somewhere in the middle. Sometimes the best choice is the hardest choice.
  • Pray, but don’t stress over the so-called “perfect will of God.” Trust God, and the ability to make wise decisions. There aren’t too many “burning bush” moments in our life, where God is going to tell us exactly what to do. Like Adam and Eve, He’s placed us all in our own proverbial garden, with the freedom to tend to that garden as we see best. If feeling completely indecisive, you might need to “cast lots,” or just make a “random” choice, trusting God to watch out over your decisions. Don’t suffer from “analysis paralysis.” Take a leap of faith, act with integrity. In everything acknowledge God, and He will make our paths straight.

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