Devotional: Two Kinds of Decisions You Make Each Day

A devotional about valuing differences

How many decisions do you make a day?

man making a decisionThe answer depends on your age, your life stage, and your circumstances, say researchers at USA Today. But on average, an American adult makes 35,000 decisions a day.

Two Different Kinds of Decisions

Those decisions fall into just two broad categories – fast or slow, according to Barbara Sahakian (professor of clinical neuropsychology at University of Cambridge) and Jamie LaBuzetta, M.D. (clinical fellow in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital) in Bad Moves: How Decision Making Goes Wrong (Oxford University Press, 2013).  Your mental and emotional biases contribute. But the distinguishing factor in your daily decisions is the speed at which they are made.

The vast majority are quick or even instantaneous, determined at a sub-conscious or emotional level, as in “I’ll get a drink of water because I am thirsty” or “I am hitting the car horn – that driver cut in front of me.” You may not even realize you are making a decision.

The remaining choices – just a handful each day – are quite different. While emotional, they are also reflective and even deliberate: what color will you paint your bedroom? What will you buy your spouse for his birthday? Will you home school your child or send her to public school? Your biases factor in the outcome, of course. But you take time to make these decisions and you are conscious that you are making them.

Yet you face only a small percentage of these deliberate choices each day, as compared with life’s more urgent, subconscious ones.

The Decision about Differences

When it comes to making a decision about what to do with differences, will yours be subconscious or conscious … instantaneous or deliberate?

The most natural reaction is an immediate one – and from the flesh. We get frustrated with those whose strengths are different.  Impatience and misunderstanding give rise to judgment and isolation.

A more reflective, deliberate decision considers The Law of Differences. God has strategically placed people in your life to complete you, and He has set you in their lives to complete them.

We need each other. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’”(1 Corinthians 12:21, NIV).  The very reason we need each other is because we are different.

A conscious decision to value differences may not come naturally to you, but it is natural to God. When you set your mind on God, He can help you make that choice with care and intentionality. In doing so, you also demonstrate the value you place on differences.

It’s a fact: one of your 35,000 decisions today will be about differences.

How you go about making that choice – quickly or deliberately, subconsciously or consciously – is up to you to decide.

Growth Point
You make an intentional decision about differences.Scripture
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5, ESV)

Prayer Points

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes. Make a list of all the intentional, reflective decisions you have made in the last 24 hours.
  • What factors do you consider when making a deliberate decision?
  • Your decision about differences requires intentionality. Why is that so?


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