Making inspired decisions

When figuring out our next steps in life, we may sometimes feel the pull of competing influences. Taking a mental pause to turn to God brings wisdom, inspiration, and courage in making decisions.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
Loading the player...

At a critical point in my adolescence I was making decisions that would long impact my future. I tended to place great confidence in my peers’ opinions and be more of a follower than a leader. At one important juncture, I faced an unrelenting pressure from my peers to pursue a particular career.

But I found an opening to a whole new direction, a different way to be useful in the world, as I prayed to God. This new direction would require courage and a change of course that would lead me away from the pack to follow an unexpected path.

Since my youth, my mom had encouraged me to pray and to consider Bible verses, poems, and hymns to get to know God better and learn what it means that we are God’s children. I’d found this helpful. So now, faced with a strong pull to conform, I turned to a favorite poem by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, titled “A Verse” and dedicated “To the Big Children”:

Father-Mother good, lovingly
Thee I seek, –
Patient, meek,
In the way Thou hast, –
Be it slow or fast,
Up to Thee.
(“Poems,” p. 69)

Over several weeks I clung to this poem as my prayer. It equipped me to think for myself by identifying the spiritual qualities God gives me, and each of us, to succeed. We can trust in God as our always present guide.

God isn’t some puppet master in the sky pulling our strings. Rather, God is infinitely wise divine Love, unfolding harmony and good for us all. Made in God’s likeness, we each reflect the divine nature. So no one knows better than God what makes up our perfect design and purpose as God’s spiritual offspring. It’s God’s intention that we all succeed. And while the ways we each live out from our God-given purpose are vast and varied, prayer can be a wonderful starting point for letting God guide our steps.

It can be so tempting to look primarily to others for validation when we have important decisions to make. But as we get to know God as the wise and loving divine Mind – and ourselves as created to express the wisdom of that Mind – we find our lives conforming to Mind’s intelligence, direction, and harmony, which brings purpose, creativity, and fulfillment to daily life.

While the term “peer pressure” isn’t used in the Bible, there are many examples of people who dealt with it with varying degrees of success. Moses, for example, chose not to succumb to group pressure when the children of Israel, having recently escaped enslavement in Egypt, were so afraid of the obstacles before them that at one point they wished they were back in Egypt. Moses found in God’s loving compassion a better plan – one that enabled them to overcome obstacles and continue on to the Promised Land.

It can take practice to distinguish what is truly divine guidance from personal desires. In my case, even as I prayed, thinking for myself and trusting God wasn’t without bumps. I sometimes had to retrace steps, correct errors, and reconsider certain decisions by asking God for fresh light.

But even if we make a mistake, God is always there. When we turn to God in humility, the divine Mind opens a way forward. And as I broke free, through prayer, from the pull to pursue a certain career simply because others were urging me to, I discovered a beautiful path and a bright future in a direction that blessed me and others.

As we come to understand Mind, God, as the source of all good thoughts, motives, and desires, decision-making becomes less of a struggle with our own and others’ opinions, and more an experience of acknowledging and yielding to Mind’s perfect design. Divine Mind is an intelligent guide to what is good and harmonious, because all that God creates is good and harmonious. We are each purpose-built by God with a natural attraction to good. Prayer to know God as our true Mind sharpens our awareness of the wonderful opportunities, and the right next steps, unfolding for each of us.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Making inspired decisions
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today