The Sum of Your Life

It’s safe to say that life is the sum of the decisions we make. Why? Because a successful life is based not on a few big decisions made at a few big moments but on thousands of normal decisions made at thousands of normal moments.
As James Clear says, “Every decision you make is a vote toward who you will become.” That’s why we need to think ahead. That’s why we have to think ahead. Each seemingly inconsequential decision has such value because our decisions are rarely isolated. Have you noticed how good decisions tend to compound in the right direction and bad decisions tend to compound in the wrong direction?

I bet you’ve made a bad decision thinking it was only a one-time thing, then later realized it put you on a slippery path. It felt like that choice gave you permission to keep making the same choice or similarly bad ones. Somehow your bad decision multiplied.
You’ve also made good decisions that seemed isolated, but weren’t at all. Your choice seemed normal, but it was actually enormous. You made the right choice and somehow it had a compound effect. It’s like this:

We make our decisions, and then our decisions make us.

The decisions you make today determine the stories you tell tomorrow.
C. S. Lewis, a brilliant Christian thinker and author, wrote about this in his book Mere Christianity: “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.”

Your decisions determine your direction, and your direction determines your destiny.

So if your life is moving in the direction of your decisions, do you like the direction your decisions are taking you?
Do you feel good about who you are and where you are in life? Do you believe God is pleased with your direction?
If not, it’s time to take back your life.
How?
Through the power of pre-decision.

The Power of Pre-Decision

You will decide now what you will do later.
That might sound simplistic, but it is a profound spiritual tool that will help you live in a forward-looking, people-loving, God-glorifying way that leads you to become who you want to become and live the life you want to live.
Decide now what you will do later.
When you’re in the moment, the three enemies we just talked about wreak havoc on your ability to make quality decisions, so why wait until you are in the moment to decide?

Ask God to help you decide now what you will do later.

With his help, what you do now can be different from what you did before on your own. We get stuck thinking, I’ve always been this way, always done these things. It is what it is, I am what I am. But God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isa. 43:18–19). We partner with God in the new thing he wants to do in our lives by making new decisions. We make these decisions with God and submit them to him. And what does God do? “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Prov. 16:3).
Decide now what you will do later.

Craig Groeschel, Think Ahead: 7 Decisions You Can Make Today for the God-Honoring Life You Want Tomorrow (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2024), 7–9.


We have just released a 8-week study on the topic: Think Ahead by Craig Groeschel. You can get it on Amazon. It is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking.