- What insights did you discover in a personal study, reading through Proverbs, or in the chapters you have read from The Best Yes book?
- How did the last session impact your daily life or your relationship with God?
- What questions might you like to ask the other members of our group?
Consider sharing any of your above reflections to the SPS group via our FB page, in the comments section here or even in an email. For those of us who are a bit shyer about sharing, perhaps sharing some feedback with one or two ladies in our group that you are comfortable opening up to is the way to go ;D
1. When you have to make a decision for which it seems there is no clear answer, what fears are most likely to keep you from moving forward?
- The unknown
- Getting hurt
- Stepping out of God’s will
- What others may think
- Experiencing a loss I can’t overcome
- Disappointing someone
- Missing out on something better
- Making the wrong decision
- Being misunderstood
How would you describe the background for the fears you chose? In other words, what previous experiences in similar circumstances contribute to your fears?
Now look ahead and consider the foreground for your fears. When you think about following through on a decision, what do you see on the horizon? For example: I feel like I’ll set off a chain of events that will leave me in a bad place and without options. If I miss God’s will, I’ll never get back to the place I could and should have been. I will have to deal with the fallout of disappointing people, which will make my life hard.
Briefly identify a current situation in which you have some fear about moving ahead with a decision. (If you can’t identify a current situation, think back to a previous situation in which fear made it difficult for you to move ahead.) Use this situation as your focus for the remaining questions.
I do think we should fear stepping out of God’s will. But if you desire to please God with the decision you make and afterward it proves to be a mistake, it’s an error not an end. The Best Yes, page 79.
2. An error is an unintentional mistake; an end is a termination. When considering the potential outcome of a difficult decision, it’s important to distinguish the errors from the ends in our thinking.
Use the prompts below and on the next page to identify one or two ends you might be thinking of in your situation, and then transition them into errors instead. An example has been provided.
My fear: Stepping out of God’s will
Thinking of a potential mistake as an end means: If I step out of God’s will, I will never recover from the consequences or experience God’s best for me.
Thinking of a potential mistake as an error means: If I step out of God’s will, I may experience consequences but I can learn from my mistake (which is wisdom!) and trust that God will redeem it.
Now, using the same format, use the prompts to write down your fears, potential end means, and potential error means.
If I’m trusting myself, I will stare at all the possible ways I could fail. If I’m trusting God, I will stare at all the possible ways He’ll use this whether I fail or succeed. When I stare at failure, I’ll fear it. I’ll convince myself it’s the worst thing that could happen. And I’ll stay stuck. But when I stare at all the possible ways God can use this whether I succeed or fail, I’ll face my decision. I’ll convince myself that it’s better to step out and find out than stay stuck. The Best Yes, page 83
3. In order to practice wisdom in Best Yes decisions, we have to set our sights on growing our faith, not fearing our failures or the errors we could make. We do this when we apply thought and prayer to our decisions and then trust God with the outcome. Use the following continuums to get a snapshot of how you’re doing in growing your faith with the situation you identified in question 1. Use the continuums below as a guide to gauge your thoughts, prayer and trust in decision making.
0 – I have given little or no thought to this decision.
10 -I have given a great deal of thought to this decision.
0 – I have devoted little or no prayer to this decision.
10 -I have devoted a great deal of prayer to this decision.
0 – I have not entrusted the outcome of this decision — whatever it is — to God.
10 – I have fully entrusted the outcome of this decision — whatever it is — to God.
Determine which area has the need for most growth (lowest “score” on the continuum). What makes this aspect of faith and decision making harder for you right now?
Entrusting the outcome of a decision to God means “we accept that we do not have in ourselves — in our own ‘heart, soul, mind, and strength’ — the wherewithal to make this come out right, whatever ‘this’ is.” Therefore, we trust that whatever the outcome is, God will use it for our good and His glory (Romans 8: 28).
What is it you are trying hardest to make “come out right” in your decision?
What are some of the ways God might use the outcome of your decision, whether or not it comes out the way you hope it will?
4. Here is a great truth from Scripture to help us entrust ourselves to God while practicing wisdom and moving ahead with hard decisions:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 NLT)
For a fresh perspective on this familiar passage, read it again from The Message: Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 MSG)
These verses make it clear that the opposite of trusting God is depending on our own understanding — trying to figure out everything on our own.
What small steps of faith might you take in each of the following ways to help you focus on growing your faith rather than fearing failure in your decision?
I can trust in the Lord with all of my heart by . . .
I can avoid trying to figure out everything on my own by . . .
I can seek God’s will and listen to His voice in all I do by . . .
5. Read Psalm 62: 5 – 8, in which David encourages his soul to rest in God. Use the psalm as a reference for writing a message of hope and encouragement to your own soul. Then turn your attention to God in prayer. Ask for His help in any places where you feel stuck and unable to move forward. Entrust yourself and the outcome of your decisions to Him. Thank Him for being a mighty rock you can depend on at all times.
TerKeurst, Lysa (2014-08-19). The Best Yes Study Guide: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands (p. 96). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.