And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” Mark 6:22
Today, we continue our study on some biblical truths about making sound decisions in order to prevent unnecessary setbacks in life. The second truth about making sound decisions is ‘not to make decisions based on your emotions or feelings.’ King Herod was excited and in high spirits; he was ‘emotionally high’ because his stepdaughter had mesmerized him and his guests, at his request. He felt elated and honored. In his excitement, he quickly and thoughtlessly made a promise – to give the girl ‘WHATEVER’ she requested. This eventually resulted in the beheading of John the Baptist, which he lived to regret.
When your feelings are stimulated, you are most prone to lose every sense of sound judgment. You could be feeling very elated or quite sad or moody. In times like these, it’s easy to make promises you can’t keep or decisions you may regret afterward. Feelings are fickle, always going up and down; hence, it is not smart to make a decision when you are excited or when you are angry.
Anger can make you say things you may live to regret. When you are provoked is not the time to quit your job, break the relationship, stop the business, leave a church, etc., first back away from the person and the situation. Pray and only make a decision when you have cooled off from the anger – when you have the soundness of mind to put things in proper perspective.
Times of deep sadness are equally times to avoid making decisions. Maybe you lost a loved one to death and you feel wounded, or you lost an important relationship, a job or a source of income, or maybe you missed a great opportunity, etc. Times like these can cause depression, and in that depressed state you might consider doing all sorts of unimaginable things.
A lovely lady once lost her fiancé to death and then made an irrational decision to marry the first man that came along, just so she could exchange the feeling of sadness with something else. Much later, the feeling of sadness from her loss was gone (because it is a feeling and it will surely pass) and she realized she didn’t really know the man she married. Their relationship was strained, almost nonexistent, and she perpetually wondered, “Who on earth did I marry?”
With feelings, things change quickly. Emotionally low or high moments are not times you can count on yourself to make smart decisions or choices. Even if you think you are in the right frame of mind, give yourself one or two days, and then check again to see if you feel the same way about the decision to be made.
Ask for wisdom to exercise control over your actions during emotionally low or high periods in your life; and ask God to deliver you from making permanent decisions from temporary setbacks.