Making Right Decisions
by Clara Schrader Streeter
“Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take.” (S&H) The truth of this statement is proved in daily life. As the poet James Russell Lowell has written:
Oft to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with falsehood,
For the good or evil side.
How do we decide what is right? The Apostle James gives a helpful answer to this question where he says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
As we earnestly turn to God as the source of wisdom and right judgment, we will find doubt and fear subsiding, and peace and quietness replacing mental agitation. Spiritual ideas begin to fill thought, and we see the first step to take in the direction of making a right decision. Other steps appear as we progress. As thought is conformed to the law of God, right decisions will unfold. “The point for each one to decide is, whether it is mortal mind or immortal Mind that is causative.” (S&H)
No circumstance is too great or too small to ask God’s guidance in making the right decision.
In Christian Science we learn that man, made in the image and likeness of God, reflects infinite divine intelligence. However, if one has made a bad mistake, or the step he has taken has not been right, but has allowed evil to disrupt his health, happiness, or success, he needs more earnestly to ask wisdom of God, who “upbraideth not.” When one has taken a step which seemed best to him at the time, he should realize that it has given him a clearer view of the situation he would not otherwise have had. He shouldn’t condemn himself for the mistake, but see the lesson learned as part of the working out of the problem. As he understands the absolute power of divine Wisdom to guide him, he will joyfully leave the results to God.
When, through willfulness and disregard for the rights of others, one has committed a nasty offense, the regaining of a sense of uprightness and brotherly love may appear long and hard. This can be seen in the life of Jacob who deceitfully stole his brother Esau’s birthright, and had to flee from his home to a strange land, where he dwelt for many years. When he was sufficiently repentant, God guided him on his way home, promising him protection and peace. Jacob returned with his family to his own land, and after a mighty struggle with self, was reconciled to his brother, Esau.
The fact that our decisions master us, is apparent in every walk of life. Our decisions influence our health, peace of mind, and success, and form the basis of our activities. Once we have sought divine wisdom, and have applied to the problem the intelligence, reason, and right judgment, which are a part of the spiritual heritage of every child of God, we should stand firm with what has been revealed to us, knowing that good alone is operative, immortal Mind alone is causative, and the outcome can bring only good to us and any others involved.
In the “strife of Truth with falsehood,” only the divine Mind can guide men and nations in the mighty decisions now confronting them. Applying our knowledge of God with an understanding of His ability to heal and save, concerning any dispute among the nations, brings the healing influence of the Christ-spirit to the situation, and leads to a higher humanity, a humanity that will be able to make decisions according to God’s perfect plan.