"Hindsight" is incredibly accurate. Last week a group of us were enjoying each other's company. As is typically, we were sharing "tales from our pasts." One person shared an incident that occurred about thirty years ago. A sale provided him with some uncommitted funds. A gifted businessman asked him, "What do you plan to do with that money?" He replied, "I have no plans for it." The businessman strongly urged him to invest the money in a new company--Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he just deposited it in a bank. Laughingly, he wondered what that investment would be worth today had he made it. Hindsight!

Every congregation looks back over a history of great decisions, mediocre decisions, and poor decisions. Rarely is it immediately evident that a decision was great, mediocre, or poor. Some great decisions "at the moment of deciding" prove to be poor decisions in time. Some poor decisions "at the moment of deciding" prove to be fortunate decisions in time. In most decisions, we make what we believe to be the wisest decision at that moment.

Our "wise decisions at that moment" are subject to many influences. Are we addressing "now" realities? Are we considering the future? What do we want to accomplish? How do we view our purpose? How do we define our objective? Are we exercising responsible stewardship? Of course, our answers are subjective. Personal perspectives, experiences, concerns, and value systems form the foundation of our decisions. No process can eliminate the subjective element.

We approach many decisions that will affect our future. May each of us add these to the questions we ask and answer. Will this minister to the families within the congregation? Will this strengthen the fellowship of God's family? Will this increase the potential for outreach and influence in our community? Will this promote growth in ways that can increase our outreach and influence in the world? Will this allow God's Spirit to be more active in the life of the congregation? Will this make our ministries more like Jesus' ministry?

Will these questions remove the subjective element from our decisions? No. Will they lead us all to the same conclusions? No. Will they give us all the same focus? No. Will they guarantee that we will make the wisest choice? No.

Then why consider them? They will bring each of us closer to the heart that Jesus wants us to have. Our best decisions always come from Christ-centered, good hearts.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 22 March 1998

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