How to Avoid Choice Fatigue
As this new year gets underway many find themselves exhausted by the excessive choices that are part and parcel to the holidays, and getting our priorities realigned for this new year.
We love having choices in 21st-century America, but too many options can drain us. Even worse, they can make us unhappy and cause us to flee from making decisions. Researcher Barry Schwartz calls this “choice overload.” For example, going to the supermarket to purchase toothpaste can be challenging when you consider how many different brands of toothpaste you can select from. And it’s not just choosing toothpaste that can overwhelm us. Even worse, consider the deluge of decisions in both our personal and professional lives which can prove to be a daunting task to manage.
Here is how it plays out: according to the experts, the more choices we have the more uncertain we become about making the right choice, resulting in the unintended consequence. Namely, seemingly endless options can lead to uncertainty, anxiety and decision fatigue. As the old saying goes, “A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”
So what is the best path forward; one that will help us to be happy and decisive and free of fatigue? Psalm 62, a song of trust in God alone, gives us three words of advice: Wait, pray and obey.
When exhausted by excessive choices, the Lord provides a path to rest and peace.
The writer of Psalm 62 is not in a rush to make big decisions. Instead, he says, “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.” (v. 5) So often we feel pressure to make choices quickly, whether we are rushing to declare a major in college, or jumping at the first job that’s offered to us. Or, on a more serious level, rushing into a marriage relationship.
The Bigger the Choice,
The More Important the Wait.
Waiting in silence is not enough — it’s also important to pray. “Trust in [God] at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” (v.8) We pour out our hearts when we ask for guidance in our decision-making, and when we pray about the various options that lie before us. Taking the time to discern God’s will can help us to eliminate a number of options that will lead us in the wrong direction.
Eliminate choices that don’t line up with your values.
After you wait and you pray, it’s time to obey.
Psalm 62:11 (NLT) 11 “God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you;”
Make sure that any decision you make includes obedience to the moral commands of God and the teachings of Scripture. In so doing, you secure the full blessing of God and favor of God upon your life. And, when God is for you, nothing can stop you!
To hear the entire message I preached on this topic, click the link below.
Just a thought,