“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
Leadership is not for the faint of heart. However, no matter where one may be, they are more than likely leading others in some capacity. Leadership can come in various forms. You may be a leader of a corporation, organization, or a sports team. You may be a teacher in a classroom, supervising construction work, or leading your own family. Regardless of where you are, you are leading others, and with leadership comes the difficult task of making hard decisions.
In the referenced verses from Galatians, the Apostle Paul warns the churches of Galatia about proclaiming a false gospel, which is not a gospel at all (Gal.1:7). There appeared to be a vicious spreading of a false gospel around the churches in the Galatia region. Paul was concerned for the doctrinal well-being of these churches when he said, “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Gal.1:9). Paul was disturbed about the pure and undefiled advancement of the gospel—so much so that he says he is not seeking man’s approval, but God’s instead.
As a leader, especially one who proclaims Christ as their Lord and Savior, one must not waver in their biblical, God-given convictions in decision-making. There will be several opportunities for one to compromise on their convictions, whether it is allowing cancerous attitudes to slide under the radar screen, refusing to confront difficult issues, or failing to venture into unfamiliar territory. These issues can lead to paralysis in making hard decisions.
However, when a leader is seeking to please God and not men, there is a confidence that arises in your leadership. It is inevitable that hard decisions will need to be made when you are a leader. The question is: how can you faithfully and biblically make your decision by honoring God and not man?
1. Pray. Seek God in prayer and fasting. Ask God for wisdom in your decision-making. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:3).
2. Read Scripture. God has given us His Word, which is to help us make hard decisions. Ask, “Does my decision cause myself or others to sin? Does God’s Word oppose my decision?” If not, you have liberty in moving forward in your decision process. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11
3. Seek Counsel from Others. Seeking counsel from other godly individuals who have made similar decisions in the past can be a great help also. “Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors, there is victory.” – Proverbs 11:14
4. Move Forward. After prayer and fasting, reading scripture, seeking wise counsel, and ensuring that there is no sin involved in your difficult decision, you are free to move forward. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
Do not be paralyzed in non-decision. This is the worst thing a leader can do. Will everyone be happy in your decision to move forward? Probably not. However, you will never please all of the people, all of the time. If your desire is to please the living God of the Bible under His guidance, His Word, and prayer—move forward for His glory! He is the One who has led you to this hard decision, and He will be the One who will give you grace in making the right decision.