I have a lot of friends who know how to make decisions relatively quickly and efficiently. They assess the situation, research the facts and make a decision. It all sounds so…so…so easy. I can and have made a lot of decisions in my life. Everything from selling a house, buying a car, getting a college degree, raising kids….lots of decisions. Very few of these decisions have come easily to me. Why? Because there is a committee that exists in my head. Everything that crosses my path that requires an opinion or decision seems to automatically land on the committee table. There the many voices present weigh in on whether I should…
…buy those shoes
…buy that car
…make chicken for dinner
…call that friend
…finish that book
…brush my teeth
As you can see these are very important decisions. This would not be a huge deal except that the voices are seldom if ever in agreement, and they are not all healthy voices. For example: if I am trying to decide on what car to buy, I know that I need wise input. I need to know what I can afford, what car suits my lifestyle and what car brings me joy. It is wisdom to go after this information in order to make a wise decision. But in the midst of discerning what I like, can afford and makes sense for me, I have committee members who offer comments like, “why do you need a car with air conditioning, its extravagant” or “you should test drive 20 more cars before you make the decision” or “what would Jesus do?” (I cannot even remotely picture Jesus trying to buy a car but that doesn’t stop the committee.)
Here’s the thing: I am aware that this committee is here by invitation. Somehow I’ve allowed these voices to sit at this table and speak their mind. Even my Sunday School teacher from 100 years ago gets to offer her opinion (and she was about 112 even back then!) Why do I do this to myself? In part, I think it’s a deep desire to do the right thing but not sure what that right thing should be. In part, its probably deep psychological issues that need addressing.
Please understand. Having input into ones life is a really good thing. I have friends and mentors who have helped make me who I am today (at least the good stuff). I cherish the voices that love, support and encourage me. I love that I have been invited to be a part of the voices speaking into others’ lives, too. It is one of great benefits of being a part of the human race, especially with those closest to us.
So what does one do with a committee that is not always helpful…even irritating?
I’m learning that a large part of my journey in life is recognizing this committee, discerning how they landed at the table, then after thanking some of them for their service…. firing them. “I’m sorry, your services will no longer be needed.” There are people on my committee who I hope stay as long as I live…like my mother’s encouragements, my friends’ support, my kids’ and grandkids’ input and even challenges at times (in a good way). It’s good to have the right people speaking into your life.
If you are a person who has no clue what I’m talking about this probably sounds weird and unnecessary. I guess I’m writing for those of you who are tired of the committee, worn out by being pushed around and weary of merry-go-round thinking. If you find this to be true of you I want to encourage you to take stock of your committee, then take action. Begin to talk back to the voices that belittle and discourage you. Don’t take it anymore.
It may sound too difficult to tackle. I agree. The only way I’ve been able to restructure the committee in my head is to ask God to speak into the process, to show me which voices are detrimental to my well-being and to guide me into truth. He alone knows me fully and loves me perfectly. Only He has laid the path for my life that leads to Him and to Home. I encourage you to deal with your committee if you have one. Everybody’s opinion isn’t necessary for you.
Proverbs 4:7 Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
Proverbs 3:13,14 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. 14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.
Romans 11:33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Philippians 1:9-11 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ — for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Titus 1:15 Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.
James 1:7 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be give to him.