3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Making Tough Choices — Carol McLeod Ministries | Find Joy in Your Everyday Life

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Decisions … decisions … decisions!

Sometimes decisions can get the best of me!

One thing that I have learned over the 6 decades of living with which I have been blessed is that to make wise determinations in life … I must first identify my core values.

What are your core values?

We’ll get back to core values in just a minute … but first let’s focus on those tricky … often frustrating decisions we must make in life.

Perhaps you, like me, have had a difficult time making monumental decisions over the course of your days.

You know the decisions that I am talking about … the world-changing, mountain-moving, head-ache-causing, foundation-quaking, people-impacting decisions.

I am not talking about whether to have a salad or a piece of cheesecake for lunch today.

I am not referring to the decision that presents itself concerning what you should watch on TV any given night:

“Andy Griffith” or “Wheel of Fortune”.  

College Basketball or “This is Us”.

 Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyers.

I am not alluding to the non-essential trivialities such as ….

Should I clean the bathroom or read a magazine?

Read is the answer … reading always comes before cleaning.

Should I buy real butter or pretend butter?!

Real … go real in all of your grocery choices.

Should I call my mom or my daughter first?!

This is a hard one … I guess it depends upon the topic and the time of day.

Should I buy the book or see if the library has it?

Buy … buy the book.

Should I go for a walk or do the laundry?

You guessed it … go for a walk.

Should I …

You get the picture!

The decisions that you should prayerfully consider are the decisions that have the potential to change your life and your family’s life.  


How do you make those decisions?  Did you ever have to make up your mind?!

A-h-h-h … now we can go back to where I started … core values.

What are your core values?

I have finally determined that rather than merely considering the various options that loom glaringly in front of me … I must remind myself of the core values that define my very personhood.

Do you know what your core values are?  

Let me put it this way … have you ever made a list of the invariables in your life?  

Before you ever make another significant decision again, I hope that you will challenge yourself to create a solid list of long-lasting and immutable core values to which you have attached your very life.

Your core values are your anchors. They are what make you “you”!

If you are oblivious to your core values, you will be tempted to make important decisions based upon circumstantial evidence.

You will decide based upon what makes your life easier.

Easy living is by no means the foundational determinate from which wisdom springs.

One’s core values are the primary building blocks that determine healthy and powerful decision-making. 

So … what are your core values?

These are my core values:

At the very center of who I am and what I value is my faith in Jesus Christ.  

I believe that the Bible is true and that the work on the cross was a complete work

I believe that Jesus is alive and that He sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven! 

I believe that God the Father is loving, compassionate and eternally good.  

I believe that He is not moved by the culture in which we live nor is He persuaded to change His mind based on the whims of the day.  

I believe that the Holy Spirit is alive and gives power to the children of God now!  Today!  

The Holy Spirit has not stopped doing what He does best … empowering the people of God in every generation to walk through life triumphantly and victoriously!

I believe that earth is not all there is to life.  I believe that when my time on earth is over that I will go to heaven and live eternally with Jesus!  My life on earth is just the dress rehearsal for all that is to come!

Faith is at the core of every value that this heart has embraced. 


My second core value can be found in the importance of the family unit.  

I believe that the family unit is where we primarily learn to serve Jesus.  

When Jesus thought of moms and dads … of sons and daughters … of aunts and uncles … of grandparents … of cousins … of brothers and sisters … we were meant to share more than the same DNA … a similar nose structure … and a comparable eye-color.  

Family was always meant to be a place of complete safety and peace.  

Family is where gifts and talents are celebrated and encouraged.  

Family is where wrongs are forgiven and restoration is accomplished.  

Family is a gift from the first Father and was meant to be a piece of heaven on this crusty old earth.

Family is at the core of my pre-determined and well-thought out value system.


The final piece of my value system is found in the commitment to service in the Kingdom of God.  

I am not here to spout my own opinions, to scratch my way into success or to build a personal empire.  I am living at this moment in history to make hell smaller and heaven bigger.  

God has appointed me, as the masterpiece of His creation, to live and move and have my being in Him.  

I am here to lavishly and generously spend every gift and talent that I have been given in a glorious attempt to love the difficult, befriend the lonely and to encourage the discouraged.

I am here, at this moment, to lay my life on the altar of service and to dance at the opportunity of giving all that I am to all that He is.

My life is not my own.  

My minutes matter.

Service to God and to others.

Knowing who I am and what I believe makes every looming decision an easy one.  As I ponder what decision to make, whether it is large or small, I simply ask myself these questions?

1 – How does this decision honor my faith?

2 – How does this decision impact my family?

3 – How does this decision increase my capacity to serve?

My prayer for you today is that you will acknowledge your core values and then begin to live out of those values.  Define who you are and what you believe!  

And then … what do you do next?! You go for it!  

Hold nothing back as you march confidently ahead into the destiny that only you can fulfill!  

And remember … always be guided by your core values!

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart, but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is.

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