P.O. Box 550170, Waltham, MA 02452

  • Name Dr. J. N. Manokaran

  • Designation Department (PWD)

  • Posted On 01-11-2009

Chirstian Life & Devotion

Rev. Dr. J.N. Manokaran served as Junior Engineer with Public Works Department (PWD), Tamil Nadu Government and God called him to ministry. He served as missionary in Haryana from 1986-1997. Since 1997 he has been based in Chennai and is involved in training leaders. He has done his theological trainings with B.D., M.Th. and Ph.D. He has been trained in Coaching and Mentoring, Church Management from renowned global leaders. Presently he serves as trainer and consultant with several organizations like: Trainers of Pastors International Coalition – India, Glocal Leaders Network, Christian Institute of Management, National Prayer Network, Chennai Transformation Network, Mission India and has trained leaders from several organizations like ICGM, Intermission, Mission India, FMPB, IEM, TTM, World Vision, IPC, Christian Assembly, NSM, JMA, ..etc. He has authored several articles and three books: 1. “Christ and Cities” 2. “Christ and Missional Leaders.” 3. “Christ and Transformational Missions”. View all articles by Dr. J. N. Manokaran

How do you make decisions?
  • How do you make decisions?

    Parable This is an ancient story. Israelites were led by Joshua into two magnificent victories – defeating cites of Jericho and Ai on their way to possess the Promised Land. This spread panic around the people in the middle east part of the world. Gibeonites were one people group who were greatly afraid of invading Israel army, and thought of a deceptive plan. They did not want to be killed in the war like the citizens of Jericho and Ai. ‘They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wine skins, cracked and mended. The men put worn and parched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy.’ They wanted to have treaty with Israel so that they were not killed. The Israelites sampled (researched) the provisions and found that it was really old stuff. May be, they were sympathetic and felt they should make treaty with them. But Joshua and other leaders failed to enquire of the Lord and made treaty with them. Three days later they found out that they were not from far of but their neighbours. So, they made them slaves and not kill them. (Taken from Joshau 9: 1-22) The information based on knowledge, the Israelites had was good and wonderful. Their intuition based on their feeling, was to show sympathy. But, they did not have ‘insight’ i.e. understand the will of God. So, their decision was a total failure and had serious implications in the history of Israelites for many generations.

  • Passage

    Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 41,42) “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

  • Principle

    In the above verse, Lord Jesus Christ appreciated and commended the decision of Mary. Why it was appreciated? First, it was a better decision than that of Martha. In decisions, there are always options. It is possible to take better decision, only with wise choices. Mary made the best choice and so her decision was better than that of Martha. The decisions should be mature one. For example, if we offer a choice of picking up banana and Rs. 100 currency, one year old child would pick banana and not the money. The child makes an immature choice as he/she do not understand the value of money. Mature decisions are taken based on value. Mary did a responsible choice. All choices and decisions have consequences. You are morally responsible for all choices and also for the consequences. You can blame others, circumstances, environment or your fate (if you believe in fate and fatalism) but you are responsible for all your decisions and its consequences. The choice of Mary was superior as it was eternal choice. She has chosen what would not be taken away from her. Your decisions should have eternal or long-term impact. Small wins and short winning spree may not be beneficial in the long term. Three components of decision making There are three important components of decision making: Information, Intuition and Insight. Information is gathered, analyzed and interpreted by the brain. The thinking faculty provides inputs or various options for taking right decision. If you play the game of chess, you think ahead of your opponent and move towards victory. This capacity to think is God given gift should be used optimally. But, this thinking paradigm could be negative or positive; pessimistic or optimistic; past obsessed or future oriented; task oriented or people oriented…etc. When there are wrong paradigms then your decisions would be naturally wrong. Having right foundational paradigm is essential for right decisions. Intuition is based on feeling or gut feeling. Sometimes it seems irrational or without logic. Some people tend to ignore reason and just depend on their emotions for making decisions. But these decisions also could wary if the feeling is flawed. If a person is dominated by the feeling of hate, the decisions would naturally be destructive. ‘Insight’ is understood as ‘divine light’ or ‘revelation’. It is not just thinking or feeling but receiving wisdom to take decisions from God. God’s will or plan is good, pleasing and perfect. When you know what God’s will is by insight, your decisions would be good, pleasing and perfect. In the story given in the beginning, Joshua had right information, right sympathetic and merciful feeling but missed out on the third –insight as he failed to enquire of the Lord.

  • Practice

    Finding God’s will is exciting and is also struggle. It is based on the relationship a person has with Lord Jesus Christ. This relationship provides courage and confidence to ask for divine guidance to take decisions. God’s will which is general is revealed in the Word of God. God’s will does not violate the Word of God or His righteousness. God also reveals His will by ordering your circumstances that you have only one option left. Sometimes, God can reveal his will by dreams, friends, prophets also. But God prefers to reveal His will By His Word.

  • Project

    Evaluate the decisions you made last week and see whether you followed these principles. How better it would have been by using these principles.

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