Teleios Research conducted a survey on how Christians make decision by placing advertisements on InstaPray, a Christian Instagram account In total, 858 individuals participated, with the majority being: evangelicals (77%); college students (51%), females (67%), and 80% US residents. 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) or waiting for guidance from the Holy Spirit (58 and 45%, respectively).
Once a decision has been determined, 87% of participants pray for reassurance from God, while 59% take action based on faith. However, 30% of participants question if their decision is correct.
Most believed their decision-making was either pleasing to God, Spirit or made in faith (about 55% for each selection); while about 20% for each 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 among responses for spiritual decisions, but those who used wisdom from prior biblically-based experience to make secular decisions reported higher wellbeing. After a decision had been made those who generally took action based on their faith and knowledge of God's Word noted higher wellbeing. Further, those who believed that God uses prayer to guide their decisions indicated higher wellbeing.
EFFECT OF ADHERENCE TO THE BIBLE
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. After they made a decision they most often sought reassurance from a mentor, or believed their decision was biblically based. They typically believed God uses the Bible to lead them.
Dr. William Stewart, cofounder of Teleios Research, commented that "We now have direct evidence that young evangelicals not only use the Bible for making decisions and assurance, but importantly, that individuals who are adherent to a Christian lifestyle and those with better wellbeing most often based their decisions on the Bible. Further, those using the Bible for decisions have better wellbeing!"
More data from this study can be found on the Telois Decision Survey.
WE ARE THE RESULT OF THE DECISIONS WE HAVE MADE IN THE PAST
Interestingly, Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor at Life.Church has been addressing similar trends in decision making in his book Divine Direction as well as recent sermons. With so many options in life, Groeschel points out that millennials become overwhelmed with the choices available to them and can sometimes become paralyzed and unable to make decisions. In a recent sermon he said it’s important to focus on being the person God wants rather than concentrating on what actions to take. Groeschel encouraged listeners to focus on the “who” rather than the “do.”
"So often we’re starting with, ‘What does God want me to do?’ instead of, ‘Who does God want me to become?' If you get the “who” right, you’ll make the right “do” decisions.”
Teleios, a non-profit foundation, seeks to demonstrate the truth of Scripture and the Christian faith through the scientific method by providing evidence for the positive results of a biblically-based lifestyle. Prior studies conducted by Teleios have shown that the practice of the Christian faith (praise, prayer, fellowship, service and Bible study) and security of salvation increases well-being while reducing guilt. A fuller description of findings can be found on the website teleiosresearch.com.
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