How Christians make decisions

Welcome back to my blog. Thank you for taking time to read it.

We have started a series about the exciting research findings from Teleios! A list of our findings is on our home page of our website (www.teleiosresearch.com)

Just recently Teleios performed a survey evaluating how Christians make decisions, and how they decide is associated with personal wellbeing as well as adherence to the Christian walk. In total, 858 people participated; of whom 51% were students, 67% female, 77% evangelical and 20% ex-US nationals. The average age was 23 ± 10 years.

How Christians make decisions

The respondents indicated they most often make spiritual and secular based decisions by taking a step of faith based on the Bible, although less so with secular decisions (63 and 51% respectively), waiting for guidance from the Holy Spirit (58 and 45% respectively) or asking someone with experience on the topic (37 and 40% respectively).

Once a decision has been determined, 87% of participants pray for reassurance from God, while 59% took an action based on faith. However, 30% participants struggle with their decision, not being sure if it was correct.

Most believed their decision-making was either pleasing to God, or to the Spirit, or made in faith (about 55% for each selection) while about 20% for indicated their choices might be emotional or self-seeking. Participants thought God helped them make decisions by having a plan for their life (63%) while almost as many believed He led them based on the Bible (53%).

Effect on personal wellbeing

Personal wellbeing did not differ statistically among responses for spiritual decisions, but for secular decisions those who used wisdom from prior biblically based experience reported higher wellbeing (4.9) The rating scale was 0 – 6 with the higher number indicates the better score.

After a decision had been made those who generally acted based on their faith, or knowledge of God’s Word, noted higher wellbeing (4.7). Further, those who believed that God uses prayer to guide their decisions indicated higher wellbeing (4.8).

Effect of adherence to the Christian life

For those who were adherent to the Christian lifestyle (prayer, praise, fellowship, outreach and Bible study) most relied on biblically based wisdom and experience in determining decisions (4.2). After they decided, they most often sought reassurance from a mentor, or believed their decision was biblically based (score of 4.2). They typically believed God uses the Bible to lead them (4.2).

The findings of our survey suggest that Christians generally take decisions seriously basing their choices on what they perceive to be input from God, the Bible or the Spirit. However, those who most closely practiced their Christian walk and who based their decisions on God’s word enjoy better wellbeing than other survey participants.

A fuller description of findings can be found on the website http://stage.teleiosresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/2017-04-20-Decision-IG.pdf.   
Thanks for joining me today and come again next week as we continue the fruitful exploration of how Scripture helps us.

WC Stewart


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