Making Good Decisions

I just read an article listing five common mental errors that sway us from making good decisions. Below, I’ve summarized them and added some spiritual ponderings.

Survivorship Bias – We tend to overvalue the strategies, tactics, and advice of successful people, while ignoring the fact that the same strategies, tactics, and advice haven’t brought success for most.

You are a unique creation of God. He knows what’s best for you.

Loss AversionWe are wired to feel overly protective of the things we own.

All things come from and truly belong only to God. It’s easier to let material things come and go when you seek His will above all.

Availability Heuristic – We tend to overestimate the prevalence and impact of ideas and events that come readily to mind.

What we choose to feed our brains each day has a huge impact on how we view of reality. This in turn sways our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual choices. Choose God-ly brain food and you’re more likely to make God-ly choices.

Anchoring – This concept is hard to explain in just a few words. Basically, it means we tend to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions. You can read more about it at the links below.

I experienced this phenomenon just yesterday when I opened an email about a big sale at Love Crochet. Like a good little sheeple, I immediately clicked on the YARN SALE button and started surfing the site. Then the Holy Spirit smacked me upside the head, reminded me that I have enough yarn for my next SIX crochet projects, and I clicked off the site without making an unnecessary purchase.

Confirmation Bias aka, The Grandaddy of Them All. Because changing beliefs is uncomfortable, people tend to avoid new information in favor of information that validates what they already believe.

For the most part, this helps smooth out one’s day. If I constantly challenged every single thing I believe to be true, I couldn’t function. However, avoiding new information all the time can keep us from growing in holiness.

How can we know what and when to question what we believe?

“Pray without ceasing.” [1 Thess 5:17]

To grow in holiness, we must continually direct our minds and spirits toward God.

But how can we know when He is comfortably confirming what we already believe and when he is uncomfortably challenging us to learn or act in new ways?

Fortunately, he gave us the Fruits of the Holy Spirit to act as signposts on our journey.

We only need to do three things consistently in order to ensure we make good decisions.

  1. Pray.
  2. Listen.
  3. Watch for the Fruits.

12 fruits

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One response to “Making Good Decisions

  1. Decisions, Decisions
    (© mindful webworks 1987, 2007)

    What did you want me to do today, Lord?
    What do you want me to do?
    I’ve given up. Can’t figure it out.
    I’m turning it over to you.
    My mind is yours. I’m an open book.
    I’ve got nothing to hide.
    What do you want me to do, dear Daddy?
    And He said: Just decide.

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