How to Choose Between Equally Good Choices
Have you ever had to choose between three equally good alternatives in life? A nice dilemma to face, isn’t it? On the plus side, you have a “win-win” situation. Whichever alternative you choose, you’re a winner. On the down side, you’ll lose the other opportunities.
The first episode of The Price Is Right aired on September 4, 1972. When I think of the game show, two things come to mind. First, the exclamation repeated millions of times on and off the show, “Come on Down!”
The second is the choice contestants have to make between three doors to see prizes they could win. The person who chose door number two on the TV show, won the car, but lost the prizes behind the other doors. However, there is never a “bad” choice.
With Equally Good Choices, Comparison Shop
How do you choose between equally good alternatives and feel you’ve made the best choice? This question may seem inconsequential when choosing from a restaurant menu. When facing choices regarding career, marriage, relocation, and education, the consequences can be life-changing.
When faced with equally good choices, comparison shop. As you would buying a car, a television, or even a cantaloupe, compare the features. When facing significant decisions, find a quiet space and time, and decide what is important to you. Consider your values and passions, what you care about. Reflect on your God-given purpose in life, what he wants for you. Pray.
List the Pluses and Minuses
Once you’ve laid this foundation, list the pluses and minuses of each alternative. If the choice is between making a change and keeping things as they are, compare the status quo with the new scenario. You’ll be tempted to begin analyzing, but brainstorm. Let the thoughts flow from mind to paper or keyboard.
After you compare, write a summary of your conclusion. Then put down the pencil or turn off the computer. Later in the day, or the next day, review your list and conclusion as a different person. Make additional comments and adjustments. Revise your conclusion if needed. Sit back and ask yourself, “How do I feel about this?” You’ll have a “gut” feeling. Everything will feel right or something will feel wrong. In either case, it’s time to seek counsel.
If you have a mentor, counselor, pastor, or someone else you trust, seek their advice. Share the groundwork you’ve already done. They may offer a different perspective and give you constructive feedback.
Seek the Lord's Advice
Most importantly, as you did before beginning your decision-making process, turn to the Lord in prayer and in his Word. Seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit, who blends with your spirit, helping you follow the Father’s wisdom.
No two choices are 100% equally good. It’s by the Spirit’s vision that you will begin to understand which is the best choice when you are faced with equally good choices.
Listen to God’s Words
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Also read: Proverbs 21:5, Luke 14:28, Romans 8:26
In the Words of Others
“Beliefs are choices. First you choose your beliefs. Then your beliefs affect your choices.” Roy T. Bennett
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” Denis Waitley
Think About It
If you’re faced with equally good choices, how would you decide? How would your values and passions play a role?
Recall when someone asked your advice when all the choices seemed equally good. What advice did you give them? Why?
To whom would you turn for a thoughtful and honest opinion about your thinking regarding which choice to select?
Describe how you involve the Lord when faced with major decisions, especially those when the choices are equally good?