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Monday, February 7, 2022

Book Review: Demystifying Decision-Making: A Practical Guide by Aimee Joseph

BOOK review
Started on: 16 January 2022
Finished on: 20 January 2022
Title: Demystifying Decision-Making: A Practical Guide
Author: Aimee Joseph
Publisher: Crossway Books
Pages: 160 pages / 160 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2022
Price: Rp 191,785 (

Rating: 5/5
*This e-book was received as a review copy from Crossway
"Perhaps you are wondering which path to take, which church to choose or which spouse to marry. No matter what decision you are deliberating, the incredibly good news is that the Scriptures offer guidance for believers making decisions."
People makes countless decisions as they go about their day. While some decisions are easy to make, more difficult decisions can leave individuals paralyzed and full of anxiety. As Christians living in an increasingly individualistic society, what's the best strategy for making decisions that will honor God while becoming more like him in the process? In this book, Aimee Joseph offers a biblical and theological framework for decision-making. She explains God's design for humans as decision-makers, the biblical model for making choices, practical tips, and what to do when we've made a poor decision. With the philosophy that "as we shape our decisions, our decisions shape us,", the author teaches readers how to worship and draw closer to God through their daily decisions.
"To make more reliable and God-honoring decisions, it is best to plumb the depths of our own hearts."
"Man is a responsible moral agent, though he is divinely controlled; man is divinely controlled, though he is also a responsible moral agent. We are free to make decisions, and those decisions matter. At the same time, our God is sovereign over every action and consequence, directing all human history toward his desired ends."
I'm glad I decided to pick this book up because it's a great book to start my new year strong. As mentioned in the blurb of this book, people makes countless decisions every single day—some are easy decisions that we don't really have to think much about, yet some are difficult decisions that can paralyze us. In this book, Aimee Joseph gave a biblical and practical guide that will help us in our decision-making process. I love how she covers all the important aspect that we need to consider when making decisions and also provided helpful tips for when we ended up making bad choices that we might regret. The writing-style is easy to understand and the explanation flows well from once chapter to another. I believe this book will be especially helpful for those who are currently facing difficulties in making decisions.
"I found, much to my chagrin, that decision-making is not a formula like the quadratic equation."
"Decisions paralyze us because we innately know that our choices have consequences... Consequences are not intended to terrorize us bur rather to train us. They teach us to become better decision-makers."
This book is divided into 7 chapters that addresses different topics regarding decision-making. The first half of the book explains the theological foundation for decision making. While the second half of the book, the author approached the decision-making process pragmatically. The author then ended this book by addressing the fear, regret, and doubt that can sometimes emerge on the other side of major decisions. In this review, I will be mentioning some parts of this book that are especially helpful to me—hopefully it can give you an idea of what this book is about. The first one is the importance of balancing the reality of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Throughout many years as a Christian, I've come across a lot of people with the idea of God's sovereignty and human's free will. I love how the author decided to tackle this issue first before going into the practical process of decision-making; because if we lean too heavily on one, we will either crush ourselves under the weight of decisions or depict God as a puppeteer. Understanding and accepting these two realities will be a good foundation for our decision-making process.

Aimee Joseph then mentioned some of the practical ways that are commonly used when people make decisions, such as doing research and making a pros and cons list. However, even with a well-thought-out list, we realize that we do not know what is best because we are limited in our understanding. Throughout the second half of this book, the author suggests various ways that will help us set the stage with practical preparation. One of the ideas that I found really helpful is the concept of Triperspectivalism, which is three perspectives to approach the word and the word through the normative, the situational, and the existential. These perspectives encourage us to assess all of the aspects related to the decision that we have to make, because they will help us evaluate our priorities and help our decision-making process. I love how the author gave some examples in how to use this framework so that we will be able to easily apply it to our current circumstances.
"God commands us to walk by faith, making decisions that align with his revealed will until we can know his hidden will."
"The most important decisions we make in life concern our way of life, habits, convictions, and direction."
The last part of this book regarding the aftermath of decision-making is no less important. After making a difficult decision, we might end up feeling relieved or overwhelmed with regret and fear. I love when the author mentioned that our maturity as a believer is not measured by how often we make wrong decisions but how we respond when we do. She uses the example of Judas and Peter—both are the disciples of Jesus, both made mistakes, but only one repented and restored to Christ. It truly encouraged me that although I ended up making a bad decision, God secures peace for us on the other side of those decisions. And even when we make wise decisions, be aware of pride in self—instead, we should boast in the goodness of God. I think it's a much needed reminder at the end of this book that will keep our focus on God regardless of the outcome of our decisions.

This is one of the books that I might want to reread in the future and refer to when I'm faced with difficult decisions and am overwhelmed by a certain situation. I found myself highlighting so many passages that are thought-provoking, opened my mind, and reassured me of God's providence in our lives. At the end of this book, Aimee Joseph also provided study questions that will encourage readers to ponder and reflect on past decisions and what influenced our decision-making process. As I'm reading this book, I am constantly reminded of God's faithfulness in my past decisions that propels me toward present faithfulness and future hope. If someone comes to me for advice regarding a decision, I will definitely recommend them to read this book 😊.
"Every decision, even those well-thought-out and prayed through, requires faith of some sort."
"When doubts, fears, or regrets threaten to steal our joy, we look to his word. When we have made a poor decision, we repent and return to his arms. When we have made a decision that honors him, we give him the praise, remembering his past faithfulness for future hope.
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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