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Have you ever felt impatient with someone because they can’t make up their mind? All the facts they need are before them. They have listened to all the arguments for and against. They have discussed the matter until there is nothing more to say – yet they can’t bring themselves to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’! Sometimes it seems that the more trivial the issue, the more time it takes to make a decision.

Before we get too upset at someone else’s indecision, it would be well to remember that we have probably irritated somebody in the same way. There are very few of us who are always totally sure of ourselves at all times. For example, have you ever caught yourself going from store to store comparing items, trying to find the best bargain? Sometimes it is better to make a purchase even if it might not be the best possible deal because it would actually cost you more time and money than you might save by continuing to look and compare.

Perhaps even worse than dithering about making a decision is making an important one impulsively. The decision will have a major impact on your life or on your family but you do not take the time to consider what it will mean and what it will cost you.

Some decisions will affect us not only in the present moment, but for our entire lives. In such cases it is wise to take the time to thoroughly explore the options and consequences before making a decision. To try to back out after making an ill-considered choice will be even more harmful than not deciding in the first place.

One of the most important decisions we can ever make is whether or not to become a follower of Jesus. Jesus told some parables about the importance of this decision and the need to consider the cost before making it. He said, “...anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27-33 NIV)

Yes, we need to carefully think about how much it will cost us, as well as how much we will benefit before we decide whether to follow Christ. On the other hand, we should not dither over the decision. If we know the facts, it is no compliment to us if we refuse to commit one way or the other. If we decide to follow Christ our commitment should be firm and unshakable – because we examined the decision from all sides before we made it. As Jesus, Himself said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 NIV)