We all have decisions to make in life. Some are more important than others. Occasionally we have to make a monumental choice, one that may cause quite a stir. Before we make such a radical decision, it is important to look at the example of Jesus.
One of the most radical things that Jesus did when he walked this earth is when he cleared the temple of those who were buying and selling and exchanging money. When he turned over the tables and benches of those who were doing business there he got some people riled up.
At first glance, it might seem that Jesus made this decision on the spur of the moment. A closer look, however, reveals that this is not at all what happened. Mark 11:11 says, “Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.” Jesus looked at what was happening in the temple, but he did not act immediately. It wasn’t until the next day that Jesus decided to take action (Mark 11:12-17).
We can learn a few things about decision-making from the example of Jesus here. First, make sure you have good information before you proceed. Jesus did not rely on hearsay. He checked out for himself what was actually going on in the temple. We tread in dangerous territory when we make important choices without having the right information. Make sure you do your research before making a radical decision.
Second, we see that Jesus did not act immediately. He waited until the next day before making his decision. He literally slept on it. Too often we make choices that we soon come to regret because we act too hastily. Many people have sent a letter, email or text message that they would not have sent if they had simply taken more time to think about it.
Jesus also may have seen the benefit of delaying his actions until the next day. Apparently, such a drastic action might have lost some of its impact if it had happened at the end of one day rather than at the beginning of the next day. Always consider the timing of any huge decision you have to make.
Third, we see that Jesus was willing to live (or die!) with the decision he was about to make. He knew that there would be serious opposition to what he was about to do, and yet he did it anyway. Because of his actions, the religious leaders began looking for a way to kill him. We have to be ready for some negative feedback from others over the important decisions we make in life. You have to constantly ask yourself the question, “Am I willing to die on that hill?” In other words, “Is this action worth the price I am likely to pay for having made this decision?”
As always, Jesus is our perfect example in everything, including making radical decisions. Let’s make sure we follow him in every way.