When you’re not sure

“Sometimes life calls us to make a 100% commitment to something about which we are 51% sure.”
– Albert Camus

“You decide. I don’t care.”

“No, I don’t care either. You decide.”100-percent

We were having the conversation. Again. That one. When neither of us cares enough to make a decision. Or wants to invest energy to think about it. Or wants to be blamed if it turns out bad.

Usually it’s over trivial things. Which restaurant to go to. Whether to get the oil changed this week or next. Or, this time, which seats to choose for the Aaron Shust concert.

(I confess I used to toss the final throw back to my husband with this clincher—“You’re the man.”  He hates when I do that. I understand. I’m trying to break the habit.)

Making decisions, even small ones, can be taxing. Especially when we don’t have all the information needed to do it. 

If we choose row 6, will a family of giants come sit in row 5? Would an aisle seat be better for Jenna to take photos? Maybe the balcony has better acoustics than the floor seating.

But we can’t always wait for 100% clarity.

Including on matters of faith.

Let’s stop being scared of being wrong.

We all have moments we wonder, “What if I’m wrong on this?” And we do need to think things through.

But if we wait until we’re totally, absolutely, positively sure that we’re right, we’ll miss opportunities to do good.  God may move his work somewhere else, to someone else more willing to take a leap of faith.

Even if we make a poor decision, isn’t his grace rich enough to redeem that too?

If in doubt, err on the side of grace. For love.
Not on the side of legalism. Out of fear.

Throw yourself on God’s mercy. It has, it is, and it will cover you.

Our seats at the concert? They turned out to be great ones for worshiping alongside Aaron Shust. And I don’t even remember who made the decision.

* * *

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27 thoughts on “When you’re not sure

  1. Beth

    Yes, there is this fear that we will choose wrong when the decision is up to us. I totally get that and feel that fear, Lisa. But I love your encouragement here, my friend. I needed to hear and will use it as a lens to look through today as I face big and small decisions. Thanks for the comforting and yet challenging post, Lisa!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Making a wrong decision is definitely one of my fears so I need to remind myself often that even when (not just “if”) I make wrong decisions, God can handle that too. Thanks for relating, Beth. 🙂

  2. Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

    I am a bad decision maker when I am not 100% sure. Martin Luther has helped me in this. The famous “sin boldly” sentiment encourages us to make those decisions as well as we are able and rest assured God’s grace to be stronger than any wrong decisions. (And no, that sentiment does not give us a license to sin as we please but be bold when we are not sure).
    Great post, Lisa. Thank you so much. Stay blessed and be bold!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for referencing the Martin Luther quote. I saw it somewhere not long ago…

      But I googled it today so I could post it here since you mentioned it. 🙂 It definitely fits. Thanks for encouraging me to be bolder in my faith.

      “Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.”
      ― Martin Luther

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s a good way to come at this too, Donna–think about how you’ll feel once the decision is made. Thanks.

      (Tried to leave a comment on your Red Light/Green Light post, but couldn’t. I appreciate what you shared there; we definitely need to honor those moments to stop and be still. )

  3. Sheila at Longings End

    But if we wait until we’re totally, absolutely, positively sure that we’re right, we’ll miss opportunities to do good. God may move his work somewhere else, to someone else more willing to take a leap of faith.

    Just the words I needed to hear today. Thanks, Lisa. Visiting from The Wellspring. Blessings…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad these words hit home with you today, Sheila. I love how God works through each other’s blogs. I often find he sends me a missing piece of wisdom when I read what he’s given someone else to say.

  4. Rick

    I’m showing my age – who is Aaron Shust? 🙂

    My wife and I have the same conversations – when we are both indifferent? Doesn’t matter who makes the decision. When we are both passionate? That’s a whole ‘nother tale, you’d best believe. 🙂

    Good post, and yes, this will be in the Saturday Shortcuts – it makes people think! 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Aaron Shust is a contemporary Christian artist. You’d probably recognize some of his songs even if you don’t recognize his name. “My Savior My God” and “My Hope Is in You” are two popular ones. He’s one of my favorite artists because he’s so Jesus-focused and all about praise.

      Um, I didn’t touch on those conversations where we both have strong opinions. 🙂 That’s another post for another day. And it sounds like you know what I mean.

  5. floyd

    I like the attitude. We as Christians begin to be so afraid to do the wrong thing or not be in God’s will that we make people with bad attitudes. God is bigger than than our decisions. Make a choice and move on, God’s got our back. “Whom shall I fear?” Thanks for the reminder and the script of my and my wife’s evenings!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “God is bigger than our decisions.” Ooh, that’s the crux of the matter right there, Floyd. More faith in him–that’s what I want; it would solve all of these dilemmas.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Lyli. “Err on the side of grace” is something I’ve been preaching to myself lately when I wasn’t finding doctrinal clarity on an issue, but I knew what was the loving thing to do. Thankful our God lavishes grace on us so we can always return to our home base of peace sooner rather than later when we’re in doubt.

  6. Laura Boggess

    Lisa, this is for me today. But sometimes, I think it’s ok to say I just don’t know too. There have been so many hot-button topics in the church and I am so glad God is God and I am not. But I love the “sin boldly” quote cited here and it is opening up my eyes to the Grace that is bigger than any issue.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly, Laura–I agree that it’s definitely okay to say I just don’t know. I have to say that a lot. 🙂

      The Luther quote: I continue to ponder it over. At first glance it doesn’t sit right with me, but when I think it through, I understand it’s about grace winning out. Every time.

  7. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! Oh, this always drives me nuts. My husband always makes me choose the restaurant!

    But I love your point about just making that leap. Do your best and just be confident about that. God will fill in those details. Good post!

    Peace in Christ,
    Ceil

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I guess food decisions are supposed to traditionally be our domain. ha. Whether we eat in or out. That’s why I do better when I schedule weekly menus to avoid that horrible daily question of “What’s for dinner?” It gets to me otherwise. I still have plenty of room to grow, obviously. 🙂

  8. Nancy Sturm

    Haha! I had to laugh at the great choosing where to eat debate. We’ve decided to end that “I don’t care” discussion by taking turns choosing. Much simpler. On the serious side, I guess many of our decision don’t make that much difference, as long as we choose to honor God. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Taking turns is a great way to resolve that difficulty. We’ve also been known to turn that into: “But it’s not my turn to choose; it’s your turn!” ha.

      You’re right that many of those kinds of decisions don’t matter; it’s our heart attitude behind them that counts–is our ultimate motive to bring glory to God or not?

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    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “too stressed to make a decision” – I relate to that. I’ve discovered I hate decision-making the most when I’m stressed. It’s easier to start from a place of peace, even though that’s not always possible. 🙂 But that’s one reason I like planning my day out before it gets hectic so when it’s time to make a decision about something, it’s really already been made and all that’s left is to carry it out. Rarely works exactly but is a huge help nonetheless.

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