My husband occasionally accuses me of not being able to make a decision. Or tormenting myself after I’ve made it. Or taking on too many responsibilities because I can’t say “no” to people. These accusations are all true. So–as much as I like avoiding books on decision-making, I decided to read one.
On the recommendation of a friend, I chose Lysa TerKeurst’s book The Best Yes. Initially, I found her style a little too conversational and a little too perky for me, but that’s probably either my writer-envy talking or my reluctance to address, yet again, my decision-making issues. Or maybe it’s the older-woman-already-learned-this talking (and yet, here I am, re-addressing the topic). I will readily admit that I fight the mindset that I have to do everything and do everything well, to the point that I freeze.
So about the author. Lysa TerKeurst is a mother of 5 (including 2 adopted teenagers from Liberia), runs Proverbs 31 Ministries (I hear her radio broadcast on the radio sometimes), speaks all over the world, has a monthly magazine and a successful blog with 80,000 monthly visitors, and is an award-winning author of 14 books.
Okay, so maybe she is better at time management than I am. Hopefully, she’s a terrible housekeeper. (Give me something!)
The Best Yes was a quick read on a timely topic–a wise and well-explained thesis of learning how to make decisions in a world where everything seems important. I concur with the author’s admonitions, and I suffer through the same struggles of trying to decide between good and better, not good and bad. Particularly in regards to ministry decisions, everything seems equally important. And if I am gifted or willing enough to do everything, how do I say “no” to something? TerKuerst bites off this difficult topic and delivers a sensible and spiritual response. I think this book will especially appeal to young women and young mothers.
She wrote many profound and encouraging statements. She lists many in the back of her book, making them easy to find, tweet, or re-read. I highlighted many while I read, but here are a few of my faves:
- “The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul.” (28)
- “Not making a decision is actually a decision. It’s the decision to stay the same.” (98)
- “Choices and consequences come in package deals. When we make a choice, we ignite the consequences that come with it.” (97)
- “If we want His direction for our decisions, the great cravings of our souls must not only be the big movements of assignment. They must also be the seemingly small instructions in the most ordinary of moments when God points his Spirit finger, saying, Go there.” (16)
- “Saying “yes” all the time won’t make you Wonder Woman. It will make you a worn-out woman.” (152)
And finally, the icing on the cupcake–TerKeurst’s 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE MAKING A COMMITMENT:
- How will this decision feel in 2 days, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, etc.?
- Will the expectations of this decision make you feel frantic or forced?
- Is this decision tied to pleasing people?
- Do older, more mature people in your life think this decision is a good idea for you?
- Am I hiding any facts from people when I explain this decision or ask for their advice?
Wow, that’s good advice, isn’t it? How often do I explain an opportunity to someone so they will applaud me, when I know I’m not sharing all the little concerns that tug the corners of my mind? Or how often do I focus on the adrenaline rush that accompanies a consideration and label the excitement “God’s calling” or “an open door”?
How many of my decisions are about my self-image versus how many are about promoting the image of Christ?
Okay, so maybe the best decision isn’t a result of perkiness or hyper-activity. Or crazy talent. Maybe, as in all aspects of Christian living, decision-making is another indicator of the presence of God in our daily lives.