The following content comes from Karen Conrad’s episode on The WealthBuilders Podcast: How to Combat Decision Fatigue with a Life of Biblical Principles.
According to Inc., the average person makes more than 35,000 decisions a day. As you advance in leadership, that number grows even higher. With that kind of volume, something as simple as choosing what to eat for dinner can be overwhelming! This article will provide biblical encouragement and a plan to help you combat decision fatigue. Here’s the key: living a life of principle.
Principle is a noun defined as “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior, or for a chain of reasoning.” So, our fundamental truths influence our behaviors and the decisions that lead to them. Here are four principles I stick to that help me simplify my decision-making process and live in accordance with God’s word.
1. Have Truth as Your #1 Value
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)
We combat chaos in culture, our families, and relationships by living life based on biblical principles. To reiterate, the decisions we make derive from our foundational beliefs, or our principles. So, if our principles are off, our decisions will be off. In other words, if we don’t make our decisions based off the wisdom in the Word of God, our lives will be built on sand.
We can only see the uppermost part of the glacier in the above picture. However, our intuition tells us that there is more below the surface. The same goes for a tree—the trunk, branches, and leaves are visible to the naked eye, but none of that would be possible with the roots that are hidden under the surface. Similarly, if we don’t like what’s surfacing in our own lives, we need to examine our foundational principles.
If you plant the Word of God in your heart and the hearts of the people you influence, the Holy Spirit will germinate the seed. In due time, you will see the outward expression of those solid principles.
2. Eliminate Fear
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?
Then Esther told them to give this answer to Mordecai,
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”
Esther 4:14-16 (AMPC)
Esther faced the reality of death in her decision to save her people. Can you imagine the pressure? As God promotes you, you will be faced with higher levels of responsibility. You will feel the pressure of the call (even if it doesn’t entail risking your life.)
If you make the preemptive decision, or count the cost, to say “yes” to God in all circumstances, it will help you eliminate decision fatigue in the long run. That doesn’t mean that the follow through will be easy, but the weight is off the decision since you’ve already said no to fear and given God your yes. Even when it looks like all will be lost—our job, our promotion, our relationships, our money—we can trust that God will take care of us when we do the right thing.
3. Cancel Contention and Commit to Peace
“For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.”
Proverbs 26:20-22 (ESV)
Everyone faces the temptation to stir up strife in their personal and professional life. Sometimes, creating controversy or submitting to division can makes us feel unified with a certain group. We might potentially see it as a pathway to promotion. Or we might throw someone under the bus in order to look good. However, the Bible is clear: God’s people are meant to be peacemakers.
We live in a polarized time where ‘cancel culture’ is everywhere. Cancel culture is defined as “the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.” As believers, we need to have the guiding principle to cancel contention. Decision fatigue can be eradicated by using the framework of peace as a guiding principle for your choices.
Praying for the people in your personal and professional circles is a way to preemptively guard against contention. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 says this: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” (NKJV)
4. Establish Your Money Mindset
“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Luke 16:9-13 (NKJV)
Money is not good or bad, but how we use it reveals our hearts. Wealth was God’s idea; it is intended to be a blessing and a tool to establish His Kingdom. As Luke 16:10 says, money management is actually the ‘least’ on the ranking of things we should be faithful in. However, it is one of the gateways God uses to entrust us with more to steward. As we choose to be faithful in our money with the intention of using it for good, God will provide a financial and spiritual return.
As we close, remember Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” At the end of the day, combating decision fatigue is really quite simple. Seek the Kingdom of God first as the basis for your decision-making process, and everything else you need (and more) will be added to you. What are some life principles that anchor you from the Word of God? Share your biblical encouragement in the comments!