Years ago I met with a pastor friend when I was struggling with a tough decision. It wasn’t one of biblical proportion and there really wasn’t a right or wrong answer. That’s what made it so challenging.
He shared some of the very best advice I’ve ever received. “So many of us spend intense time trying to discern the will of God for our lives. We tend to complicate things looking for a lightning bolt and three trumpet blasts before we can make a decision. I’m not saying to take lightly big decisions, but I think four words can peel back several layers of the process,” he explained.
“Wow. It’s that simple?” I asked as I leaned forward not to miss anything. “What are those words?”
“If in doubt, don’t.”
“That’s it?” I asked, thinking it was a joke. I wasn’t sure if this was the punch line where I was supposed to offer one of those obligatory laughs.
“Seriously, that’s it,” he smiled. “If you have that nagging feeling of doubt that just won’t leave you alone, it’s best to not ignore it. It may be something as simple as the timing not being right. You also have to sift out if you’re only scared of making a change or if the nagging is a prompt for your decision. That’s up to you. No one else can figure that out for you.” Great advice!
Sometimes when I get overwhelmed, I stall or go into neutral and just stand in one spot trying to sort though what to do first. My friend and mentor, Spike White had another four word decision maker for me once when I was in a floundering neutral mode. “When in doubt, sweep,” he said. “Things always needs to be swept, you accomplish something and it gives you time to sort out what’s stalling you.” More great advice.
So today I might just pick up a broom and think about that nagging tug on my heart. When in doubt don’t or sweep. You’re really safe either way.