Indecision Is a Thief of Time
“HOW long will you be limping upon two different opinions? If Jehovah is the true God, go following him; but if Baal is, go following him.” (1 Ki. 18:21) With these strong words the prophet Elijah berated the indecision on the part of the nation of Israel with respect to their worship. At a time when true worship was at a very low ebb because of the corrupting influence of wicked King Ahab and his idolatrous queen, Jezebel, this was no time to be doubting in their worship, but, rather, a time for decisive action on the part of those who would have God’s blessing and favor. However, indecision on the part of the whole nation was stealing time that should have been used in true worship, time that rightly belonged to their God, Jehovah, by virtue of their dedication to him. It was time that could never be redeemed; it was gone forever.
The same principle is brought to our attention by the Christian Bible writer James in his discussion of the matter of prayer. He shows that the dedicated Christian, when praying to Jehovah, must have no doubts as to whether God exists or about whether he answers the prayers of his servants. Rather, he should draw near to him in faith and with complete confidence. “Let him keep on asking in faith, not doubting at all, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. In fact, let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from Jehovah; he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.” (Jas. 1:6-8) Those who are indecisive in their attitude toward God lack faith. Before it is too late they need to take steps to remedy the situation by earnestly studying God’s Word and associating with those who love and serve him.
In our everyday life we are called upon to make decisions on many matters, some small and some great. Here, too, indecision can be a thief of valuable time. Even on such comparatively minor details as dressing and buying, decisions must be made. A shopping tour that starts out happily may end in exhaustion and frayed tempers if you cannot make the final decision between two different styles or colors. How much time could be saved by a calm, quick decision on the basis of one’s likes and needs! This does not mean that one should buy the first article he sees; but, rather, a happy medium should be found between the unwise, hasty decision and the time-wasting course of indecision.
The business executive is one who must be ready to make more weighty decisions that may involve the reputation of the company for which he works. In many instances time is the prime factor. Indecision on his part may mean the difference between being awarded a profitable contract and losing it. Nevertheless, a hasty decision on his part might well spell disaster for him and for the company. So the wise executive will not allow himself to be pressured into an unwise decision. Rather, he will have in mind all the facts, and then in the light of all factors he will be able to make a wise decision. He will not allow the spirit of indecision to be the thief of valuable time that can never be recovered.
The dedicated Christian minister is one who is particularly interested in using wisely the time at his disposal. He has dedicated everything he has, including his time, to the doing of God’s will, so he should do his utmost to see that time is not wasted. For his benefit the apostle Paul wrote: “Keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked.” (Eph. 5:15, 16) He may be considering moving to another section of the country or to another land in order to increase his ministerial opportunities or he may be considering the possibility of becoming a full-time preacher of the good news. He has considered all the factors involved and can find nothing that prevents him from fulfilling his desire. But indecision can be the thief of time that could be used in carrying out that ministry.
Or he may have been assigned to prepare a Bible lecture on a certain subject and has received a general outline of what should be presented in the lecture. He begins his preparation, but he finds that from the very outset he is beset with indecision. Hours may pass without any success in deciding what material to use or how to arrange it in a logical order. However, if he will fix in mind the objective of his talk and then select the few main aspects of the subject that will do most in achieving that objective, he will readily be able to determine what information supports these key thoughts and what does not fit and so should be set aside. Also, if he will carefully consider the audience to which he will speak and what he knows about their needs in connection with his subject, he will find that he is well on the way in the preparation of a most beneficial discourse.
Today, especially, time is valuable. If used wisely, it can bring everlasting blessings to the individual. The Bible clearly shows that within this generation God’s righteous government in the hands of his King, Christ Jesus, will hold undisputed sway over this whole earth. Conditions of peace, justice and happiness will be the lot of all those who put their complete trust in that righteous rule. But it requires a definite decision on the part of each person living now. The basis for making that decision is an accurate knowledge of Jehovah God and his purposes through his Son Jesus Christ. Today Jehovah’s witnesses in all parts of the earth are glad to be able to help righteously disposed persons gain that knowledge, which can mean eternal life for them. So you, too, are urged not to be indifferent and not to let a course of indecision steal your time. Use your time wisely, because it can mean your everlasting life.