Decisiveness

vs. Double-Mindedness
The ability to finalize difficult decisions based on the will and ways of God

Key Verse

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
James 1:5

The operational definition of decisiveness is “the ability to finalize difficult decisions based on the will and ways of God.” Did you know that you probably make thousands of decisions every day? Some decisions are as simple as when to brush your teeth. Other choices are more difficult, such as what to do when the cashier returns too much change from your purchase. Decisiveness involves the skills of discerning the factors of a situation, listening to the Lord’s leading, and confidently knowing and making the choice that would bring the best results. You know the excess money does not belong to you, so you return the extra change to the cashier. This difficult yet correct decision honored the Lord, and inwardly you know you chose rightly. “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

God’s Word is the sure foundation a decisive Christian needs in order to make right choices and hold to them.
A double-minded man, like the waves of the sea, is unstable. He continually changes his mind.

The opposite of decisiveness is double-mindedness. Double-mindedness is wavering between two opposing opinions or options. Often, those two “minds” are God’s way versus our way. We are pulled away from God’s way by what we want to do. The Bible describes a double­-minded person as a friend of the world and, therefore, an enemy of God! (See James 4:4, 8.) You may
struggle because you do not truly believe that His will is best. For example, you know you should confess if you break a lamp because you disobeyed your parents’ instruction to not throw a ball inside the house. But you want to hide your guilt and avoid punishment! Your thoughts are tossed back and forth like the waves of the sea. (See James 1:8.) Your father has taught you to always admit wrongdoing. So, your decision to humbly confess brings correction, repair of the lamp, and right standing with your dad and the Lord. Your faith in God’s ways is strengthened, and you grow in your desire to choose His will. God delights to work in our hearts both to will and to do what is best! (See Philippians 2:13.) Peace will fill your heart and confirm your decision as you walk in God’s ways.

Evaluation Questions

  • Do I take time to gather pertinent information and seek counsel before making a decision?
  • Do my choices reflect that I serve the Lord with my time, energy, and creativity?
  • Do I allow popular opinion to affect my decisions?
  • Does my family discuss difficult situations with me to help prepare me to make right decisions?
  • Have I studied God’s Word to decide where I personally stand on controversial issues?
  • When God directs me to wait on a decision, am I patient? Or do I rush ahead so the decision is behind me as quickly as possible?
  • Do I often procrastinate in making a decision, hoping someone else will decide for me?
  • When a difficult decision is before me, do I first seek God’s wisdom through prayer and fasting?

More About Decisiveness

“Difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be.”
George Müller
Transformation results as we behold the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). As we see God’s character through testimonies in Scripture, we grow in our understanding and obedience to His Word. Here are ten aspects of Decisiveness with supporting verses found in God’s Word.

God enables me to:

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Gather accurate information.

“He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.” PROVERBS 18:17
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Commit to do right.

“Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.” I KINGS 8:61
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Choose wisely.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” DEUTERONOMY 30:19
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Avoid double-mindedness.

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” JAMES 1:8
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Keep going.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” PHILIPPIANS 3:13–14
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Not look back.

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” LUKE 9:62 “Remember Lot’s wife.” LUKE 17:32
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Do what I say I will do.

“Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.” PROVERBS 25:14 “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” MATTHEW 5:37
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Make the right decision and hold to it.

“He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” PSALM 15:4b
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Examine things before making a decision.

“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” PROVERBS 18:13
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Resist peer pressure.

“Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.” EXODUS 23:2

Decisiveness in Scripture

The Ephesians Burn Their Evil Books

“Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men . . . . So mightily grew the word of God . . . .”
ACTS 19:19–20
Silver statues and shrines gleamed brilliantly in the morning sun. Ephesus, one of the greatest cities of the Roman Empire, was a bustling center of commerce and religion. The Ephesians believed that an image of the mythological goddess Diana had fallen from the planet Jupiter to Earth. Thus, Ephesus became an international hub for the worship of false gods. The city was home to the famous Temple of Artemis (Diana’s Greek name), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Ephesians were not only involved in mythology and idol worship but also in other forms of the supernatural world, including witchcraft, magic, and evil spirits. One day, Paul arrived in this pagan city to preach Christ. He met twelve followers of John the Baptist and led them to understand that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone. As a result, many who once worshipped false gods trusted in Jesus. Soon thereafter, the Ephesians witnessed a startling incident that greatly impacted their lives. How would the Ephesians respond when confronted with God’s power and their own sinfulness? Would Jesus be Lord of their lives, or would He merely be added to their idol worship? What changes and commitments would the Ephesian believers make as a result of their relationship with Christ?

Revealed in Nature

Badger

The badger is a quick decision maker when facing a predator. Despite being a formidable adversary, it seldom picks a fight and prefers to retreat. If it decides not to flee, it will ferociously defend itself as it snarls, growls, hisses, and exudes a skunk-like musk.

For Kids

Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum

The Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum uses examples from the lives of men and women in the Bible whose walk with God resulted in good character or whose lack of faith produced poor character. Through the study of decisiveness, children are motivated to carefully consider the aspects of a choice, confidently come to Godly conclusions, and courageously stand by their decisions.

View the Decisiveness booklet sample:

Get the complete Decisiveness booklet with all four lessons & activities:

Free Resources for Decisiveness

Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!

Bible Story Coloring Page
Verse & Definition Word Search
Related Hymn Sheet Music
“I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.”
David Livingstone
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