Making decisions can be a very difficult and many times an arduous task. Especially in modern western culture where the choices are seemingly endless. Do I want my coffee hot, or cold? Do I want a latte, or drip coffee? Do I want small, or large? These examples are just at the local coffee shop in the morning. They do not include the myriad of other decisions that must be made throughout the day. We wrestle even more deeply with questions of career choice, choosing a spouse and if/when to have children, what church to attend, and the list goes on. As followers of Christ we are not alone, the disciplines of prayer and talking with other believers about our decision are all part of the process. So how should we best approach decision making? This is what writer and contributor at The Gospel Coalition, Aimee Joseph discusses in her new book Demystifying Decision Making: A Practical Guide (Crossway, 2022).
The book is broken up into two halves, a theological foundation for decision-making and look theIr practical application. In the first half of the book Aimee discusses the theological foundation of decision-making, namely God‘s sovereignty versus man’s free will. She does not go too theologically deep into the nuances of this paradox, however she does recognize their importance in regards to decision-making. Once a person has the understanding that God is in control and his purposes prevail, it takes away much of the burden of making decisions. While God’s sovereignty does not take man’s freewill off the hook, it does take the pressure off decision making even in regards to bigger life choices.
In the second half of the book Aimee discusses the practical application of decision making. She begins this discussion by setting forth a model that she calls the “dashboard of decisions.” Much like a pilot who has different gauges that help him make decisions about the airplane, so too we have the same in relation to making decisions. These differing gangues include: the cultural gauge, the idolatry gauge, the desire gauge, the urgency gauge, and the gospel gauge. Each of these can help assist a person when making decisions. The most important of which is the gospel gauge. This framework is helpful and practical in regards to decision making. It makes a person ask the right questions and leaves room for their personality and talents to factor in. At the end of the day, one must do what they ultimately feel the Lord is leading them to do.
Demystifying Decision Making is a well written, thoughtful, yet highly practical resource for helping people make decisions. The target audience of the book is young people between 18-35. For this reason book would be very helpful to high school students to help them think through where and if they should go to college. It would also be helpful for college students and young professionals make decisions regarding career paths and starting a family. However, we never stop making decisions throughout life, so it would still be a helpful resource to anyone. Whether it be in small daily decision or massive life altering decision they should be approached prayerfully and biblically. Aimee Joseph provides such a paradigm.
Editors Note: Reading for the Glory received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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