Decisions. During the course of a single day, we make decisions from the time we open our eyes in the morning until the time we go to sleep. We make all kinds of decisions–as insignificant as what color socks to wear to healthy lifestyle decisions like choosing between a chocolate cupcake or a banana to more significant decisions that affect the course of life such choosing to take the job or stay where you are.
Some significant decisions are made during our young adult years that will substantially shape the direction and course of one’s life. It’s important that young adults have people in their lives to encourage them as they make these life-altering decisions. If you lead young adults, you have the opportunity to be a voice and an encouragement to make decisions with thought and integrity.
Decisions about school, jobs, relationships, and finances all seem to elevate to a new level during our young adult years. Here are three ways you can help young adults make decisions.
1. Encourage young adults to seek God’s heart.
When life’s choices seem overwhelming, decisions can be a very difficult landing spot. The possibilities of so many choices can cloud a young adult’s focus and actually stall them from making a decision. We often make the assumption that if we make the wrong decision, we’re going to mess up God’s plan. However, when we’re seeking God’s heart rather than focusing on the decision itself, our heartbeat aligns with His. The way we see the decision is then viewed through a completely different lens.
Proverbs 8:17 reminds us, “I love those who love me, and those who search for me find me.”
That’s an incredible promise we can hold onto in the middle of making decisions that may change the course of life. As you walk alongside young adults who are making significant decisions, always point them toward seeking God’s heart first. It’s a step that can’t be bypassed in the decision-making process.
2. Encourage young adults to “not settle.”
Our culture is always pushing people to make decisions quickly, which often results in decisions which are not well crafted or completely within God’s will for our future. Young adult ministry leaders can speak great wisdom into a young adult’s life and encourage them to wait for God’s best. Waiting isn’t always easy. When we make decisions quickly and settle for option number one, we can miss out on opportunities to see God do something amazing. Finding patience within you through a relationship with Christ is a key part of making decisions about the future.
It all goes back to seeking God’s heart. With much prayer, listening, and time in God’s Word, we can make a decision based upon confidence and not fear. Don’t always assume the first opportunity is the best opportunity. On the flip side, don’t assume that some better will come along. It’s a balance that takes some deep conversation with Jesus.
Romans 12:12 is a powerful verse that pushes us to wait with patience and seek Jesus, “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.”
Encourage the young adults in your life to not simply settle for something that will satisfy an immediate need.
3. Encourage young adults to follow through.
A great destroyer of dreams and decisions is procrastination. When young adults make decisions, choose to be an encouraging voice in their lives that urges them to follow through with decision. A decision to go to grad school is a good first step, but applications must be filled out, financial matters have to be addressed, and admission tests must be taken. Ministry leaders can help young adults develop a plan for the next steps of following through with a plan. If you’ve walked the path before and have some “do’s and don’ts” that could be of significant help to young adults, be willing to share that wisdom.
Often when we make decisions, we experience doubts and questions. Again, as young adults are seeking God’s heart in all things, their decisions will be made in the confidence aligned with His heart. The Enemy has a sneaky way of making us question our decisions, especially if they have truly been sought through the power of God’s heart.
The wisdom from Ecclesiastes 11:4 encourages us with, “One who watches the wind will not sow, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap.”
It takes some initiative and motivation to follow up on life’s important decisions. Young adults need encouragers alongside them to help make decisions become more than a dream.
Life’s decisions can be overwhelming. But as we allow our decisions to be guided by the truth of God’s hope and promises, we come to an understanding that our lives are to glorify Him. When young adults firmly get a grasp on that truth, decisions are suddenly not about us, but completely about Him.
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.