We all have decisions to make. Many of these decisions can have a big impact on us and our friendship with Jehovah. For example, we may have to decide where to live, how to support ourselves financially, or whether to get married. When we make good decisions, we can have a happy life and please Jehovah.
1. How can you use the Bible to help you make good decisions?
Before making a decision, pray for Jehovah’s help and examine the Bible to see how he views the matter. (Read Proverbs 2:3-6.) In some cases, Jehovah provides a clear command. If so, deciding to obey that command is the best choice you could make.
What, though, if there is no clear Bible command telling you what to do? Jehovah will still guide you “in the way you should walk.” (Isaiah 48:17) How? There may be principles that can guide you. Bible principles are basic truths that reveal God’s thoughts and feelings. Often we learn how God feels about a matter when we read an account in the Bible. When we discern how Jehovah feels, we can make decisions that please him.
2. What factors should you consider before making a decision?
The Bible says: “The shrewd one ponders each step.” (Proverbs 14:15) This means that before we make a decision, we should take the time to think about our choices. As you evaluate each option, ask yourself: ‘What Bible principles apply? Which option will give me peace of mind? How will my decision affect others? Most important, will it make Jehovah happy?’—Deuteronomy 32:29.
Jehovah has the right to tell us what is good and what is bad. When we get acquainted with his laws and principles and are determined to follow them, we are developing a good conscience. The conscience is our inner sense of right and wrong. (Romans 2:14, 15) A trained conscience will help us make good decisions.
Take a closer look at how Bible principles and the conscience play important roles in decision-making.
3. Let the Bible guide you
What is free will?
Why did Jehovah give us free will?
What has he provided to help us use our free will in the best way possible?
To see an example of a Bible principle, read Ephesians 5:15, 16. Then discuss how you could make “the best use of your time” to . . .
read the Bible regularly.
become a better marriage mate, parent, son, or daughter.
attend congregation meetings.
4. Train your conscience to make good decisions
In the video, what steps did the sister take to train her conscience and to make a decision that would please Jehovah?
Why should we not ask others to make decisions that we should make? Read Hebrews 5:14, and then discuss these questions:
While it may seem easier to ask others to make decisions for us, what should we be able to distinguish for ourselves?
What is available that can help you develop your conscience and make good decisions?
5. Respect the consciences of others
Different people will make different decisions. How can we show respect for the consciences of others? Consider two situations:
Situation 1: A sister who likes to wear makeup moves to a congregation where many sisters are bothered when they see others wearing it.
Based on these verses, what might that sister decide? What will you do if you are with a person whose conscience forbids doing something that your conscience allows you to do?
Situation 2: A brother knows that the Bible does not condemn using alcohol in moderation, but he chooses to abstain from it. He is invited to a social gathering where he sees brothers drinking alcohol.
Based on these verses, what might that brother decide? What will you do if you see another person doing something that your conscience keeps you from doing?
What steps lead to good decisions?
1. Ask Jehovah to help you decide what to do.—James 1:5.
2. Do research in the Bible and Bible-based publications to find principles that apply. You may also consult experienced Christians.
3. Consider the effect the decision will have on your conscience and the consciences of others.
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “You have the right to do whatever you want. Who cares what other people think?”
Why should we consider the feelings of God, as well as those of other people?
We make good decisions when we find out how Jehovah feels about a matter and then consider whether our actions will help others or harm them.
How can you make decisions that please Jehovah?
How can you train your conscience?
How can you show respect for the consciences of other people?