Decision-Making Tree


Decisions are an everyday occurrence and sometimes we get tired of making decisions all day long.  What to have for dinner?  What clothes to wear for work?  What clothes to pick out for school for our children?  To go on the busy freeway or take the side streets to avoid the traffic?  What advice to give to our teenage child or adult child, or just listen and not try to fix the situation?  To exercise or not to exercise?  To take the new job or keep the one we have?  To move or to stay put?  I could go on and on with the decisions we are confronted with each day.  Sometimes it seems that ignoring the decisions seem like a better alternative only to have those stored away decisions come to hit us in the face.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a decision where we can’t lose by making the decision, but could have a tremendous win by going down that road.  Let me give you an example of what I mean.  There is a story in the bible of a city that was cut off from any food entering it.  The people were dying of starvation and were confronted with the decision of what to do.  There was an army outside it’s gates waiting to kill everyone in the city gates, and people were running out of food–literally.  The story begins with lepers talking about the city’s plight.

“Now four men with a skin disease were at the entrance to the city gate. They said to each other, “Why just sit here until we die? If we say, ‘Let’s go into the city,’ we will die there because the famine is in the city, but if we sit here, we will also die. So now, come on. Let’s surrender to the Arameans’ camp. If they let us live, we will live; if they kill us, we will die.””  ‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭7:3-4‬ ‭CSB‬‬

These four men were looking at their options and choices.  1.  Doing nothing and dying (they said it twice).   2.  Going into the city where there is a famine and dying.  3.  Surrender to the Arameans’ camp and if we live we live and if we die we die.  You see the decision tree they were talking about had all the scenarios with possible outcomes.  In all of their negative scenarios they were going to die which is what was going to happen to them anyway.  Their third choice opened up the door for them to live.  You see no lose and only a win by staying alive.

Lets say you want a raise and the raise can only come about if you ask your boss.  If you say nothing, you haven’t lost anything because you are in the same place you were at before you started wanting a raise.  If you ask your boss for a raise and he/she says no, you haven’t lost anything and if he says yes, you have gained something.  No lose and only win situation.

By thinking about making decisions with a no lose scenario and only win perspective, it gives us more boldness to ask for what we want.  On this journey we are going to be bombarded with all kinds of decisions.  If we can grab ahold of this concept, we are going to become more bold in going forward and not allowing our fear to stifle us.

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About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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