By Frank J Casella
Have you ever met a person who says they believe one thing, but then does something else?
Have you ever faced making a decision and can’t find the best answer, or the best direction to go.
In my volunteer work with Catholic Men the topic often comes up about how to make decisions. It usually comes down to based on our personal belief system. Specifically, it’s important to us that we make decisions in the work place and at home that reflect Jesus Christ as the center of our lives.
My late father often said the words, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. This is why it’s important to know what we believe. In fact, even an atheist knows what he believes .. That he doesn’t believe in God or Jesus.
Many converts to the Catholic Faith I have witnessed are on fire for the Truth of the Church more so than those like me who have been brought up in the faith.
Why is this?
I think it’s because they (converts) have made a decision to the Faith instead of being born into it.
When we make a conscience decision about anything in life, instead of that decision handed to us, then we have an intentional commitment to it.
The thing is, most of us I find try not to make intentional decisions, but rather just live for the moment as long as it takes care of our needs, wants, and personal desires.
So, if you are a Christian, how do you make a conscience decision based on what you believe?
The way I try to do it is to look at the person or matter through the eyes of Christ. To first ask myself if this decision is on my agenda or on God’s agenda. How does Jesus see them or this matter, and how would He respond. … through me.
Many times when I seek where God is at work in the matter, elements come into play that go beyond whatever I could do on my own.
I also try to live my life as a prayer; to have a conversation with God all day long, and do more listening than talking. This takes practice being in tune with the Holy Spirit, and listening for ‘the voice’. Test the small decisions to know that you hear it right first, before moving to the big decisions.
Finally, I spend a few minutes each day just to think. In silence.
After I drain my brain of the many concerns of the day, several things come to mind that I write as a thought and not as a to-do list. It becomes easier over time, as you become more serious and disciplined, and sincere, then God will speak, you will see.
By doing all the above you will find over time that making a decision becomes more easy, and you will have clarity over a matters faster, because you know what you believe.
Some decisions are not made for us alone, and this is were we bring in trusted council to help us with discernment, such as a priest or spiritual director, or trusted friend.
Why is all of this important?
Because our lives are just passing through here on Earth. So the time we have left is meant to make a positive difference for the next generation, compared to when we showed up.
And we do this by making the right decisions in the little everyday things, so that over time we have a satisfying life well lived, rather than a life of confusions and wanderings.
Said another way, I’ve never met a person that served themselves who was happy and full of joy, and living a satisfying life.
So, decide on what you believe, and then let that belief transform your decisions in this life. Sometimes you will find this is opposite of what the world tells you to do.
But, then, if you don’t stand for what you believe, people won’t know where you stand .. including yourself.
Frank J Casella is co-founder of Chicago Catholic Men’s Conference, and executive director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate.
Portions of this post are from this article on LinkedIn Blog
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