Ben Franklin Or God?

When a big decision looms in your future, how do you decide what to do?

Some Christians I know run to people they consider friends and ask their advice.  They consult with many people to get a variety of perspectives. They seek people they believe “know them” and can give them “good advice.”

That thinking often leads to confusion and bad decisions. Too many choices create havoc in the decision-making process. All those perspectives are from humans–people who may or may not have the person’s best interests at heart. These “friends” offer advice, usually on the spot, because someone asks. The final decision won’t impact them, so their commitment to the advice they give becomes inconsequential.

Still others offer advice based on what they’d do in a situation, not what may be the best for the one asking for advice. These folks preface their advice with, “If I were you . . .” But they’re not. It’s impossible for someone else to know all the details, ramifications and the factors that weigh on a decision someone else makes.

Some folks use the Ben Franklin T-Square method. They weigh the pros against the cons.

They put the “Pros” (all the reasons to make a choice) on the left side of the page. Then they put the “Cons” (all the reasons NOT to make a choice) on the right side. They look at both sides of the page and make their decision. They base their decision on logic and analysis of the pros and cons. I’ve seen these people in action. They fill legal pads with their pros and cons and analysis.

Ben’s decision-making process has its flaws. For instance, people can make decisions before they create their T-Square. Then they create a T-Square to justify their decision. Some folks assign weights to the pros or cons they need to justify their decisions. That adds a degree of subjectivity to their “objective” decision.

Franklin’s T square decisions are logical but temporal. They lack wisdom. We can’t make wise choices without seeking guidance from God. He knows us better than any person. God knows us better than we know ourselves.

The Bible gives us examples of people who think they know how to make decisions without God. Remember the Tower of Babel? Those folks thought they were pretty smart.

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

They said to each other, ‘Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The LORD said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.’

So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.” Genesis 11:1-9

James says, “. . .the wisdom from above (from God) is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” James 3:17-18. Wouldn’t you like your decisions to meet those criteria? You won’t get that wisdom from people or Ben Franklin. You can get plenty of advice, some bad, some better. But the only One who can give you WISDOM is God.

Job teaches us,

“Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air. God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. Job 28:21,22,27,28.

If you need to make a decision, do you want advice?  Do you want man’s perspective? Ask your friends and use Ben Franklin’s logical, T-Square method. You’ll get plenty of advice and logic upon which you can make a natural, worldly decision.

Or would you rather get wisdom and the answer God can provide? If you’d rather have wisdom and a decision that keeps you in God’s will, seek your answer from above.

About Steve Sawyer

God blessed me with the gift of writing. Mom told me I wrote paragraphs in second grade when others were learning to write sentences. I spent more than three decades in professional writing gigs. For the past eight years I've combined my passion for writing with my love for the Lord. He and I write a Christ-centered, family-friendly blog to glorify God Monday-thru Friday at My wife and I have four grown children and two precious granddaughters we co-parent with their mom. I'm a Galatians 2:20 disciple of Christ seeking to allow Christ to live His life in me, through me, and as me.
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11 Responses to Ben Franklin Or God?

  1. ptl2010 says:

    O that we will become more and more like Him that even when we think, we will be more and more like Him. – not our will but God’s will be done.

  2. 4hispraise says:

    I believe in the “borrowed logic theory” .Reason was never the way by which we came to Him in the first place.

  3. Good post… God has all the right answers… Darrell

  4. Steven Sawyer says:

    You are so kind, granbee. And you are so right about the difference between man and God when it comes to making decisions and seeking wisdom. It is clear to me that you have been walking with the Father for a long time. Thank you again.

  5. writinggomer says:

    Proverbs 4:7
    Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

    Great post with wise words Steve, thank you.

  6. granbee says:

    Bless you, dear Brother Steven, for such a clear and concise delineation between man’s system of logic upon which to base decisions; and the guidance of Our Father above in making those same decisions. Sometimes, God’s logic only appears to be our logic because we unknowingly “borrowed” from Him if we have been walking in His ways for a long time. But we still must give Him all the praise and all the credit and all the Glory!

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