Regret. It stinks. Nobody wants regret. Nobody plans for regret, yet we all face it. We all have a reason or two to look back on and wonder, "What was I thinking!?" There are countless couples that wind up going through a divorce because the made a wrong turn (or many wrong turns) somewhere along the way. We raise our kids with the constant question of whether we are doing the right things to set them up for success.
What if you could reduce regret by 10%? Would you do it? Dumb question, of course you would! There is a principle that God gives us to help us reduce regret and improve decision making. I believe the standard for good decision making is defined by what God would want more than any other standard. Therefore, to make a good decision means doing what God wants me to do as a man, a husband, a father, a friend and so on.
I call it, the principle of PAUSE.
The reality is we all face various crossroads moments in life. The question is not IF you will face a crossroads, the question is which way will you go? Every crossroads ultimately represents a decision point between what I want and what God wants. This is where regret hides out waiting to spring into our lives. The crossroads is also where God's will becomes possible for us. And God tells us exactly what to do!
"STAND." This is critical. We must pause. We must evaluate. We must second guess our natural tendency. Without the pause we will more than likely careen down the wrong road. Most bad decisions come from a failure to pause. This does not mean you wait forever. Decisions must be made. Too many people allow indecision to become their decision. The principle is pause, not stop! However, failing to pause is like hoping you can make a hairpin turn at 80 mph without slowing down, it's possible but, not likely.
"LOOK." When we pause we can look at the options before us. We can consider what God would have us do. When was the last time you stopped long enough to ask God, "What do YOU want here?" Pausing gives you time to seek our wise counsel and learn from the successes and failures of others. The idea here is being wise enough to recognize you are NOT wise enough! We need to hear from God and others we trust and then move forward with a decision. Regret is usually paired with the sentiment, "I knew better than that." We need to pause so we can look at what we know and seek out what we don't know in order to make a better decision.
Will this simple principle ensure God's will all the time? NO. Sometimes we get it wrong even when we pause. But here's what I know…pausing will give you the best opportunity to make a good decision. Just imagine if you improved your decision making by even 10%, that's 10% less regret. Imagine if your kids learn this principle. Model and teach this to your kids and save them countless regrets as they grow up!
What crossroads are you facing in life, in marriage or in your parenting? What decision needs to be made soon? Maybe its time to "stand" and "look" and choose the path God would want for you.