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Four Questions for Better Decisions Part 4 | "Passin’ It On"

Good decisions lead to fewer regrets in life. But could embracing a greater purpose change the way we approach every decision?

  1. Why is it so tempting to hold on to the credit, honor, or glory that comes our way?
  2. How would you define “living for your own glory”? What are the pros and cons of living this way?
  3. How would you describe your past experience with God or religion?
  4. Andy mentioned that Jesus equated loving other people with loving and honoring God. How would you respond to this? Does this concept differ from the type of Christianity you’ve experienced in the past?
  5. Could looking beyond yourself help you make certain decisions in your life right now? How so?

NOTE: The following content is a raw transcript and has not been edited for grammar, punctuation, or word usage.

Welcome to another episode of Your Move. On today’s program we’re actually wrapping up a four-part series on the topic of decision-making. The truth is life is all about decision-making, isn’t it? In fact, you are where you are, for the most part, because decisions you’ve made, if you’re like most people, your greatest regrets are connected to decisions you’ve made and your greatest joys in life are connected to your decisions as well. Aren’t they? At the same time, we can all think of a few decisions we would like to go back and un-make. And we can all think of a few decisions we would like to re-make. Now, the biggest challenge, the biggest challenge when it comes to decision-making is the outcome, right? We never know for sure how things are gonna turn out, do we? We think we do. For example, when you think back to your last really bad decision there may have been somebody who tried to convince you that things were not going to turn out the way you were convinced they were going to turn out. But did you listen? Of course you didn’t. You were in love. And no, he didn’t have a job. And maybe jobs aren’t all that important are they? Yeah, she seemed a little too anxious to get a ring on her finger, but… So was the last girl you dated.

Whatever your situation was, whatever it was, you just knew, you just knew everything would work out, you were sure of the outcome. You were sure about your ability to predict outcomes. Turns out. You weren’t so good at it. Were you? In this four-part series, I’m giving you four questions that all of us should ask. Every single time we make a decision. Questions that will enable you and empower you to make better decisions and live with fewer regrets. So real quick, three questions you should ask every time you make a decision, and then I’ll get to the fourth one in just a minute. Question number one was this. Am I being honest with myself, Am I being honest with myself, really? Now, this is a really important question because when it comes to selling ourselves on bad ideas we are all sales professionals, right? 

I mean, you don’t have to think back too far, to think about a decision, you talked yourself into that later you wish you talked yourself out of… For example, dessert, right? Skipping your morning exercise routine right? That third glass of wine. Now, whose bad ideas were all of those? Yeah. They were your ideas, your most recent bad relationship decision yours again, you get the point. So this is a really, really important question and it’s a really difficult question to be honest about because the question is, am I being honest with myself, am I being completely honest with myself? The second question we talked about is this.

What story do I wanna tell? What story do I wanna tell? You see, every decision you make becomes a permanent part of the story of your life, every decision you make has an outcome and every decision you make has a consequence, and often the consequences unanticipated the outcome or the consequences are things you didn’t predict would happen and that outcome becomes a permanent part of your story, the story of your life. So when you’re making a decision, pause and ask this question when I’m looking back on this decision. Which of the options that I’m currently considering will I wanna have as a permanent part of my story. What story do you wanna tell? The third question, we’ve talked about is this, is their a tension? Is there a tension that deserves my attention? Because oftentimes in fact more times than we wanna admit, sometimes we’re considering something that’s creating a little tension on the inside of us, right? Something about it just doesn’t seem, exactly right, it’s not comfortable. It gives you pause something about it bothers you, causes you to hesitate and initially you may not be sure why. That’s what I mean by a tension. It’s like you hit a speed bump in the decision making process. Not a wall. Just an unexpected sense of, “hmm.”

When that happens. You’ve gotta pause and ask yourself. What about this bothers me? You’ve gotta pay attention to that tension, don’t ignore it. Don’t brush it off. Pay attention to the tension. And that brings us to our fourth and final question: Now, those questions, the ones we just talked about as unsettling as they may be they’re still somewhat safe. Are those three questions, if you pause long enough and let the answer surface will keep you out of trouble. They’ll certainly reduce the regret in your life, they’ll reduce the regret to relief ratio in your life, and they will help you live a longer and more productive life. But today’s question, “Well today’s question is different.

In fact, today’s question is based on an assumption that we may not all share. You may not consider yourself a religious person, perhaps spiritual but not religious, or maybe you used to be… I actually meet a lot of used-to-be’s and when I meet used-to-be’s and I hear their stories, I think, Wow, if what happened to you, happened to me, I’d probably be a used-to-be as well. But regardless of where you are with all that. You are smart enough and wise enough to contextualize this very important question into your personal belief system. And one day, if you come to the conclusion that there’s a personal God who’s concerned about the direction and quality of your life, then this question may become one of the most important questions you ever ask. Now. Before I tell you what it is I need to set it up just a bit. Here’s something you may have never thought about, here’s something you may not know you were actually not created, you were actually not created to hold on to the glory, the credit or the honor that comes your way.

Even though you deserve it. If you hang on to credit and honor for too long things get weird. Actually, you get weird. The best evidence for this is your response or your reaction to people around you who hang on to glory and credit for too long, you know the glory hogs. In some cases these people have actually accomplished some incredible things, but you kinda hate to bring it up or compliment them on it, because they just hang on to it too long, they make too much out of it, they begin talking about themselves, in some instances they’re already so consumed with themselves. You hate to add to it, by complimenting them and when you do, they hold on to it for too long, they don’t share the glory they don’t share the credit and you… Well, you just can’t wait to get away, right on the other hand. You know, people that as soon as you compliment them.

As soon as you brag on them as soon as you point out something they’ve accomplished what do they say, they say Thank you. And then they start sharing the credit with people around them. That’s the way it’s supposed to go, isn’t it? To accept credit that’s due us, hold it for just a moment, and then pass it on… Again, hold on to it for too long. And something strange happens… Something we all find. Well, a bit disgusting. When people cling to credit. Honor or praise for too long, even credit honor and praise they deserve, we actually lose respect for them, don’t we? But here’s the question I want us to wrestle with. Why? But why is that the case? That’s what I want you to understand. The why behind that dynamic actually leads to our fourth decision-making question. But first, one more illustration.

I want you to imagine that you’re at a friend’s house. And you walk into his home office, and you see, a trophy case. And you ask him about the awards and he begins to explain what each one is for. That’s not uncomfortable or unusual, right? You honored him by asking he simply answered your question. But what would you think if that same friend. Showed up at your house with a suitcase full of his trophies. What would you think if he started taking them out one by one and explaining an excruciating detail what he did to receive each of those awards? That would just be weird, wouldn’t it?

Awkward to say the least? Whereas in the first scenario, you’d actually congratulate him and perhaps even gain respect for what he’s done. In the second scenario. You would actually lose respect for your awkward guest. But why? That’s the question, But why? Same person, same accomplishment when someone at work gets an award and they say, I could not have done this without the incredible people I work with, we gain respect for that person, right, you never think… Oh, that’s disgusting. He’s sharing credit with other people. What’s up with that? No, in fact, we think more of that individual. But why? Why does that just seem right, why when someone clings to the credit they’ve been given, why do they seem so small? Whereas when someone who deserves the honor they receive shares the credit with others, they get larger in our lives, we lean in.

Yeah. When you think about it, this really doesn’t make any sense. It seems like the people who hoard all the glory would become more glorious. Doesn’t it? It seems like the people who hoard all the honor would be more honorable. But it doesn’t work that way, does it? The truth is, the more of those things people cling to the less of those things we associate with those people, but again, why? And what in the world does any of this have to do with decision-making. The answer to that question, the answer to that question stems from the fact that all the potential ability we have to do great things, the talent, the discipline the creativity, the perseverance to do well in the market place to sing Amazing songs to write amazing books to build a company to sell a product. All of that talent. All of that ability and all of that opportunity ultimately comes from our creator. It comes from God. This is why it is so unnatural, and so uncomfortable for someone to cling to honor and glory when it comes, their way. James the brother of Jesus put it this way In his first century letter to Christians living in the area of Judea here’s what he writes. He says every good thing and every perfect gift is from above. And comes down from the Father of lights.

So when somebody says, Wow, great job, great performance you did a fantastic job negotiating that contract leading that meeting executing that play the most appropriate response, the response that lines up with the way you were created to work. Is to graciously accept whatever Congratulations, comes your way. And then you let it go, you hand it off, you hand it off to the one who ultimately deserves the credit. We should hold the hot potato of honor for just a bit and then pass it on. Thank you so much, but honestly, I’m so grateful to God for this opportunity, apart from him, this would have never been possible thank you. And while it’s true I work hard on this, apart from God’s grace in my life. This would have never happened. Now as you probably know, there are many high profile examples of this, especially in the world of professional sport Steph Curry might be one of the best examples of this. He’s won multiple NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors, and he was the first person in NBA history to be named most valuable player by a unanimous vote. So needless to say, he has an impressive resume and he’s got a devoted fan base. But with all of that talent and all of that attention, and all those perks it would be so easy for him to cling to the credit and the glory, that comes his way. And nobody would blame him. Come on, he earned it. He worked hard for it, but instead. Well here’s something he said, on such an occasion, he said, this he said Actually the Lord has blessed me with these talents to do something special, but it’s not about me winning games, losing games, missing shots, making shots, it doesn’t matter, it’s all about giving glory to God. Now that’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? But maybe you’re wondering… Okay, so why? Why did he have to bring God into it? And I get that. But here’s why, because he along with other athletes and artists. Lean in that direction. They believe that we were created to pass the glory on, rather than be handlers and hoarders.

Now, anyone, anyone who takes the teachings of Jesus seriously, we believe that we’re not even here for our own glory and honor to begin with we’re here for God’s honor, we’re here for God’s glory, Jesus followers believe it’s our responsibility to leverage everything that comes our way, for God’s honor, and God’s glory when we win when we lose when we make sales and when we lose them. And that at last leads us to our fourth and final question, as you evaluate your options whenever you’re making a decision, when you evaluate your options I wanna challenge you to ask this insightful clarifying question.

What would be… What would be most honoring to God, of all the options you’re considering? I’m asking you to ask this question, which of those would be most honoring to God? I wanna show you two passages from the New Testament where this idea is taught. The first one is found in a letter it’s found in 1 Corinthians Chapter Six, 1 Corinthians is a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to first century Christians who were living in Corinth. Paul wrote a lot of the New Testament, he stepped into the pages of history as you may know, as somebody who actually hated the church and hated Christians, but then he became one. And then he started several churches in non-Jewish areas of the Roman Empire and from time to time, he would write to people in these areas to encourage them and sometimes just to answer their questions. Several of his letters were copied and collected and they were included in our New Testament in our Bible. Here’s what Paul writes regarding this whole issue of honor and glory. He says to Christians living in Corinth. Do you not know? 

He begins with this question. And apparently, they did not know or he would not have asked. Do you not know that your bodies are temples? A temple was where the gods dwelled right? Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? Now the implications are staggering. What Paul is saying is that our physical bodies are like ancient temples because the Spirit of God resides in our bodies think about that God’s spirit resides in you. You are a temple. This is one reason we should treat everybody respectfully because God is in there. We’ll come back to that in just a minute. He goes on, he says this. You are not your own. You’re not your own, you actually belong to somebody else, namely the one who dwells in you. You were actually bought at a price. That’s why you don’t belong to you. And then he draws the logical conclusion from all that came before. Watch this, he says. Therefore, in light of everything I’ve said honor God, honor God with your bodies, honor God with your bodies. Every time a Christian makes a decision that involves their physical body. Which would be all of their decisions. We are to make that decision with this idea in mind. Will this honor God? 

Will this reflect well on God? When I look at my options how best do I honor God what is most honoring to God? Now surprisingly, Jesus addressed this during his most famous. We call it the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew, who was a former tax collector happened to be there and was taking notes. And here’s what Jesus said on the same topic, he said to his listeners you, you are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden, neither do people. Light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Now Jesus was referring to an oil lamp. In our context, you don’t turn on a lamp and put a blanket over it. Actually, that would be a fire hazard, wouldn’t it? But that’s not why you don’t put a blanket over a lamp, you don’t put a blanket over a lamp, because it defeats the purpose of turning on the lamp, right? Instead he said, instead he says, they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.

And Jesus’ audience must have been thinking thank you very much. But we knew that before we got here, but Jesus isn’t finished. Listen to what he says next, in the same way, in the same way that you put a light somewhere where it gives light to people around in the same way, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds. In other words, we are to live our lives in such a way that people see our good deeds and then listen to his conclusion that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven, glorify give glory to give credit to, give honor to your Father in heaven.

In other words, we are to live our lives in such a way that ultimately God gets the credit, the honor and the glory for the good that we do for the deals we close the life we live Jesus followers hold the glory, for just a moment and then they pass it on. And thus, this question of all of my options, which option would bring most glory to God. What would be most honoring to God? Now I’ve gotta warn you this is a dangerous question, this question will actually lead you beyond issues of what’s simply right and wrong. This question will lead you to consider things most people would never consider. This question may cost you some money, some time it might even cost you a relationship. This question could cost you your job. I know men and women who started traveling less when they started asking this question. I know dads who started spending more time with their kids and less time at work when they began asking this question.

I know people who started spending less money and giving more money away once they started asking this question. I’ve met lots of couples who were on the verge of calling it quits until they ask a question like this one. And then instead of fighting with each other, they began to fight for each other and for their relationship. But I’ll tell you whom I don’t know, I don’t know anyone who started asking this question and regretted it. Not a soul. I meet careless People who, when they hear me talk about, they say, “Wow, I wish I would have asked that question before…”

And then they tell me story about a decision they made that led to a regret a regret that could have been avoided if they had weighed their options against this powerful, powerful question. It’s not for the faint of heart, but I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that it has the power to change your life of all the options you’re considering. What would be… What would be most honoring to God? I’ve met people who were hurt, deeply by people, they trusted. People who had every right in the world to seek revenge, and then they paused and they ask the question, What would be most honoring to God, and you know what they chose to do, they chose to forgive. Not because the person who hurt them deserve to be forgiven, but because they knew forgiveness would honor God after all God had forgiven them, and if they were here with me today, they would tell you that, asking that question save them from another season of bitterness and worry over something they couldn’t change anyway.

Common sense whispered. Hang on to your heart. Keep telling your sad story leverage it milk it, use it as a way to get back at the people who hurt you. But they chose a different route. That’s the power of this question. It will provide uncomfortable clarity when you ask this question, which of my available options is most honoring to God. You will know what to do before you even finish asking the question, but before I scare you off. I want you to think about this. While this is an uncomfortably clarifying question, it’s also a question that will draw you into the life that you were created for. This question is actually an invitation for you to live for something larger than you, you see if you’re not careful. And if you’re not intentional, your life and the purpose of your life will never be any bigger than you.

And although we’ve never met, here’s what I know about you. You are not enough for you to live for. Your personal glory is too small a thing for you to live for. You were created to reflect the glory of your creator. If you devote yourself to yourself, you will only have yourself to show for yourself. If your glory is what you live for. Well, honestly, that’s not much to live for. And you were made for more. Choosing what is most honoring to God ensures you don’t live for your glory alone, it ensures that you don’t live a small life. Choosing what is honoring to God ensures you devote yourself to more than yourself. So that in the end. You’ll have more than yourself to show for yourself.

Now if this whole honoring to God things seems a little bit too out there for you a little bit too intangible it may help you to know that, according to Jesus, the way we honor God. Is by honoring those that God honors “honoring those that God loves and whom does God love well according to Jesus, God loves everybody. In fact, on one occasion, Jesus was asked what he thought the greatest most important commandment was. The fellow asking the question was asking within the context of the Jewish law, which included over 600 different commands. So that’s a lot to choose from. I mean, how do you narrow it down to one? Jesus responded with the most popular answer to that question, the answer that most of the Jews in His audience, grew up hearing. Here’s what he said. He said the most important, the greatest commandment is this. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind, this is the first and the greatest commandment. And then to everyone’s amazement, he kept going He said this. And the second. The second command is like it “Love your neighbor as yourself, all of the law, all 613 laws all of the laws and the prophets hang on these two. Commandments and His audience was stunned. Because in this moment Jesus equated loving or honoring God with loving and honoring others, according to Jesus. The second command is evidence of the first one. If we aren’t showing honors to those around us. We’re not showing honor to God so honoring God isn’t impractical and intangible according to Jesus. It was both tangible and very practical. So don’t do anything that dishonors others, and don’t do anything that dishonors you because God loves you as well.

So another way of asking our fourth question is, this, which of my options is most honoring to the people affected by my decision. What would be most honoring to the people around me, you may not think about this but everybody. Everybody lives for somebody’s glory, right? I mean, the question each of us needs to wrestle with is this, “Whose glory are we gonna live for? Specifically whose glory are you gonna live for is your personal glory worth giving your life to God made you for so much more, and God has invited you into something so much bigger, something so much more significant, His glory, his honor and that is best demonstrated by your willingness to hold loosely to the honor that comes your way, and pass it along to others as quickly as possible in that way. We honor Him by honoring those around us. So don’t live for your own glory, again, your glory is too small. A thing to give your life to. Funerals. Remind us of this, don’t they? Have you ever been to a funeral where folks struggle to find something nice to say about the deceased that’s always the case when someone lived for their own glory, right? They clung to it rather than passing it on.

On the other hand. There are funerals, where you’ve celebrated a life that was worth celebrating, and easy to celebrate. And what was the difference? Not the awards, the person won. Or the attention they received or the money they made. At a funeral. You don’t celebrate what a person accumulated, or hoard it or held on to. You celebrate the ways they gave themselves away. Funerals actually remind us that in the end. The value of a life is always measured in terms of how much of it was given away, never in terms of how much of it was hoarded, saved, protected or wasted. The measure of a person’s greatness is never how much honor Glory or praise that came their way, the measure of their greatness is always what they did with it, once it came their way. And the same is true for you.

So is it any wonder that God created us to know intuitively that glory is never to be hoarded. Is it any wonder that he ask us to examine every option through the lens of what’s most honoring to him and to the people around us? So I wanna challenge you to try something for the next three days, for the next three days, every time you make a decision. I want you to ask yourself this question: What would be most honoring to God, what would be most honoring to God. Now and this is important. I’m not asking you to do what you suspect might be most honoring to God. I’m just asking you to ask the question. It’s your life, you can do with it whatever you please, but there’s no harm in pausing and asking the question, right? In other words, would you at least walk up to the edge of what it might look like to live for someone else’s glory and just take a look, consider it, imagine what your life would look like.

Then once you’ve asked the question, do what you want. I just think you owe it to yourself to ask and to know and to consider because you were made for so much more than you and your Heavenly Father is inviting you into a life, where His glory is made known through you. You’re going to live for someone’s glory. Why not the one who made you? So that’s it, four questions to ask every time you make a decision. Am I being honest with myself… really? What story do I wanna tell? Is there a tension that deserves your attention and what would be most honoring to God? Remember our lives are shaped by the decisions we make. And these four questions will ensure that your decision-making skills, are in good shape just as our decisions determine the direction and quality of our lives. These four questions will determine the direction and the quality of your decisions. As I mentioned, in session one, there are some decisions we can recover from quickly, right? No harm done, no lasting consequences. But, as you know, there are some decisions that are virtually impossible to bounce back from.

The consequences are severe in some instances they follow us for the rest of our lives. I know you wanna get this right, and I believe you can get this right. And even though we’ve never met, I want you to get this right, because nothing breaks my heart. More than watching people unnecessarily complicate their lives. And undermine their own happiness, with a bad decision. Or a series of bad decisions. You’ve watched friends and family members, complicate their lives with bad decisions, right? And you wondered, “Why in the world would you do that to yourself?” Well, perhaps, it’s time for you to look in the mirror and ask yourself that same question. Why would you make a decision that complicates your life and undermines your own success. And undermines your own happiness. There is enough pain and enough heartbreak in life without us adding to it with our own bad decisions. So. Let’s get this right, I want you to take a screen shot or get your phone out and maybe take a picture of the screen post these questions somewhere where you can look at them every day. Put them on your bathroom mirror, set them on your desk at work post them on your computer, create a wallpaper. Am I being honest with myself…really? What story do you wanna tell? Is there a tension that deserves your attention? What would be most honoring to God? I want you to decide today right now to make better decisions, so that you will live with fewer regrets. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to the people you love. And you owe it to the people who are counting on you. So now, you know, and now it’s your move.