How to Make Decisions

The wisdom of Sirach teaches us that there are three sources we ought to seek out for help when making decisions:

  1. A Religious man who keeps God’s commandments.
  2. Our own heart/conscience
  3. Prayer for God’s help in making a good decision.

Sirach warns us against seeking advice from sources that cannot be relied on:

  1. Treat not with a man without religion concerning holiness,
  2. Nor with an unjust man concerning justice,
  3.  Nor with a woman touching her of whom she is jealous,
  4.  Nor with a coward concerning war,
  5. Nor with a merchant about trade,  (How many of us get our information from the catalogs that are designed to encourage us to buy their products! Sirach says that this is not wisdom.)
  6. Nor with a buyer of selling,
  7. Nor with an envious man of giving thanks,
  8. Nor with the ungodly of piety,
  9. Nor with the dishonest of honesty,
  10. Nor with the field laborer of every work,
  11. Nor with him that worketh by the year of the finishing of the year,
  12. Nor with an idle servant (employee) of much busines

How often do we ignore this obvious wisdom!  How many are seeking advice from people who do not share their goals and principles!  How many religious people seek the advice of irreligious doctors.  How many seek professional advice from non-Christian counselors.  How many listen to advice from people whose lives are not exemplary. 

Let us seek only the advice of those who can be trusted, and realize that the advice of a religious man is more valuable than an “expert” who claims to know a particular area of life but does not understand life itself.

– Sirach 37

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One Response to How to Make Decisions

  1. jima77 says:

    Sirach and Proverbs were the first two books of the Bible I read back when I was 19 years old. I liked the idea that they were “wisdom books” so I read them first and they have served me well. Your post reflects my approach to seeking advice—sometimes this means waiting a very looooooong time to get a question answered, but i’d rather wait for the right answer. Many misunderstand me in this way and try to make it sound more simple—they try to characterize me as being too complicated—well they miss the point. It’s not being complicated, it’s being wise.

    Also, many people just jump into things and brag about how they are not afraid and how brave they are. They brag about “just doing it” and not thinking about it. There is some value to that and I am definitely not afraid to quickly jump into something for the right reasons at the right time. However, I have discovered an interesting fact. Most of the time when I have been criticized for thinking too much, it ended up being the exact opposite–I was not thinking/reading/researching enough. In the cases where I did not let the person criticizing derail or influence my efforts, I was able to discover this.

    Sometimes we need to think, work and plan more, not less.

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