“It is necessary also to control one’s will so that it is not abandoned to its own inclinations, but it is conformed entirely to the will of God”.

“As an opportunity presents itself to perform such a good action, we must prevent our heart from seizing on it before we have considered God”.  (From The Spiritual Combat by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli)

The decisions we make play an important role in shaping our character. They determine who we are and what we do. Our capacity to decide, our free will is a gift from God which gives us the choice to pursue what is good, true, and beautiful. However, we are all victims of the negative consequences that arise from bad or misguided decisions.

So, what is the remedy to making better decisions which will help us grow closer to God? It’s simple – to involve Him in every decision we make.

God is our Creator, but He is also our Father and our dearest friend. He longs for an intimate relationship with each one of us. He desires for us to become holy and helps us achieve this goal by being present and prompting us with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit whenever we are faced with difficult decisions.

The power of free will

Free will carries with it great consequences whether it be good or bad since it was free will which led to the fall of a third of all the angels and it was also free will which led to the incarnation of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Out of profound love for us and respect for our free will, God never imposes, he only proposes. He prompts us towards what is good for the salvation of our soul and that of others.

Don’t be too hasty

Being too hasty is the primary enemy which leads to bad decision making despite the Divine assistance of God. “As an opportunity presents itself to perform such a good action, we must prevent our heart from seizing on it before we have considered God” (From The Spiritual Combat by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli). Scupoli sheds light on the importance of lifting our mind to God before making a decision; to discern what it is He proposes us to do; to look upwards and ask God “What do you want me to do in this situation?” instead of relying on our own human inclinations which are often tainted by disordered attachments and passions.

Every day we are presented with situations that are neutral or inherently positive. However, what merit do we gain if it is not the will of God for us in the present moment? It is not the completion of tasks which are good which make us holy, it is the completion of God’s will which makes us holy. Thus, it is important that we take the time to consider the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

The fast-paced environment of the 21st century has made us forget the importance of slowing down. When we find ourselves at a crossroad, we have the tendency to decide on a particular path without sufficient consideration. The absence of proper deliberation prevents us from recognising hazards which are harmful to our soul and will lead us further away from our loving Father.

How many decisions have you made which appeared good at the time but in hindsight, brought about pain and hurt? How many of these bad decisions could have been avoided if only you took the time to consider what God was calling you to do in that moment rather than following your emotional whims?

Look up and Let Him Lead!

What we do with our free will is important because it will either leads us closer to or further away from our eternal home. The next time you are faced with a decision, whether it be big or small, take a few moments to consider what your Father desires you to do, trusting that His will is always what is best for us. Through frequent consultation with our Beloved, not only do we avoid making bad decisions, but we also grow in intimacy with God as we invite Him to be present and take part in every aspect of our lives.

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