Kari and I are 20 weeks pregnant with our third girl and it is an exciting time. But it wasn’t the easiest decision (for me) to have another child. I am a big time planner so thinking about having 3 children is a big deal. This was the perfect time to use the, “The Best Question Ever” logic.
There is a great series by a pastor named Andy Stanley called, “The Best Question Ever” and it’s all about looking at your past, present, and future to make decisions. The question is this: In light of my past experiences, present circumstances, and future hopes and dreams, is this a wise decision?
A simple question when you look at it, but when with profound implications. Think of any circumstance no matter the level of difficult and you can apply this question. Take the question of whether Kari and I should have a third child or not.
Past – According to our past experiences, God has brought us to amazing little girls that are happy, healthy and fun to be around. We survived those parenting tests pretty well and in fact, enjoyed the process.
Present – Presently, we live in a great neighborhood and have healthy friends and good jobs to support our kids. I think Kari and I are decent parents and adding a third child wouldn’t change this. Annaliese and Haleigh are smart and polite, plus cute as can be!
Future – Finally, for our future, we have the space, both in our lives and our hearts to add a third child and look forward to the adventures that will come. I also believe we are financially, spiritually, and relationally healthy to add a third child to our family.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of what we thought about, but it is a good sampling. Approaching a decision this way ensures you consider the consequences (good and bad) of a decision you are making.
How do I apply this?
So how can you apply “The Best Question Ever” to decisions in your life? Here are 5 ways you can apply this question to your life.
- Apply it to any decisions you have been repeatedly delaying. Like exercising regularly (talking to myself on this one).
- Use this question when you are facing a major relationship decision. A baby is a good example or maybe asking someone to marry you!
- You can use it in a work setting. Use it when you are about to enter a tough meeting or conversation.
- Great for big financial decisions. Along with our LifeMap, we walked through this question when we bought our home.
- Similar to any decision you repeatedly delay, you can apply this question to a decision you have already made and are second guessing. This gives you an opportunity to check your decision from a wise perspective.
There are many other ways to apply this question and the decision doesn’t always have to be a big one, but generally that is a great place to start.
Let me give you one more example from personal experience. I used to play video games way too much and using this question in a day-to-day situation helped me stop playing. And when applied to the big picture as well.
Video Games and The Best Question Ever
When I would come home from work I would put my stuff down and get all set up to play Madden or some other game, then proceed to play for 2-3 hours. Kind of a waste of time. So I began thinking about the Best Question Ever. According to my past experiences when I went home I would immediately go inside and play, so I would avoid this.
I would find someone to hang out with after work or some excuse to do things outside to avoid the game. For my present (at the time) I decided it was more valuable to choose a variety of other things over playing video games because I would almost always get more satisfaction out of the other options.
The big picture was how much time I would waste playing video games if I didn’t quit the habit. The cumulative effect of wasting time playing the games versus spending it with friends or doing something productive outweighed the entertainment value. Eventually, I did quit the habit and I have found this decision to be one in a line of “Best Decisions” as a result of applying the “Best Question Ever” logic.
Give it a Try
Are there areas of your life that you can apply this question to? How about those little cumulative decisions you are making now that will impact your future.
- Think of a big decision you need to make.
- Write this situation/question down.
- Now write: Past, Present, and Future on a piece of paper.
- Fill in all the ideas/thoughts you have in each area and when you’re done, I’m willing to bet you’ll have a wise decision sitting in front of you.
Let me know how this process worked for you, were you able to make a big decision you were delaying?