August 14, 2009
Acting Decisively, Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
Making one's own decisions develops healthy mental muscles. But there will always be a few who crave to be told what to do. A major reason some prefer to be indecisive is laziness. Decision making is hard work. Peter Drucker was correct when he said:
A decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives. It is rarely a choice between right and wrong. It is at best a choice between "almost right" and "probably wrong"---but much more often a choice between two courses of action, neither of which is probably more nearly right than the other.
That may sound like a tongue-twister, but in reality it's a mind-boggler, requiring a painful, exacting process rare to many . . . a process called thinking.
How much easier it is to adopt a list, to click off the answers one, two, three, four, five. You don't have to think. All you need to do is follow instructions. Don't weigh the consequences. Don't sweat the details. Just do as you are told and leave the driving to "us," namely a few guys at the top. Don't think it through and decide . . . just submit.
If that is the approach you prefer, let me remind you of two words, just two words---Watergateand Jonestown.
Decisiveness in both of those tragedies was replaced with blind obedience, unquestioned authority, and absolute loyalty. Somebody, somehow, at some time in each of those outfits convinced the troops that Alfred, Lord Tennyson's battle cry in Charge of the Light Brigadewas the standard operating procedure for them:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
There is a place for that philosophy in the military where there isn't time to stop and think. Discussion groups aren't too popular in combat when the objective is survival.
But in day-to-day living, when issues are not clearly spelled out in Scripture, when there is a lot of gray instead of black and white, we need to learn a lesson from Moses's mature successor, Joshua.
Think wisely. Weigh the alternatives. Choose for yourself. Decide now whom you will serve.
Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, Copyright © 1985, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.