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September 4, 2011

Declaration vs. Decision

Categories: Psychology

Ok. Today, let’s talk about two words… ‘Declaration’ and ‘Decision’. I like these two words, not only because they’re on the same page in my dictionary, but because they help to distinguish between a common error we make sometimes.

Let’s define both:
declare’: To announce formally or officially. (‘Declaration’ is the act of declaring.)
decide’: To make a choice. (‘Decision’ is the act of deciding.)

Let’s try a case study.

I am going to work today!’ That’s a declaration. You’re not at work yet, nor have you left home! But it does show intent… and probably does go some way to actually getting you there!

But there are number of decisions that must be made before you get there. Taking a bath, getting dressed, preparing lunch, et cetera.

Important notes:

  • A declaration isn’t a decision. And vice versa.
  • Fewer declarations are needed than decisions. In fact, most times, only one declaration is needed, and numerous decisions.

Now… let’s tackle a more interesting case study.

Baptism. It’s a public declaration. You declare to all that Christ is the Lord of your life, forever. Baptism is VERY important.

However, though you’ve made one decision so far (to get baptized), it’s the beginning of a life filled with decisions. Everyday decisions.

A declaration may give you an emotional high that’s enough to get you started making some really great decisions, but emotions soon die out. Or reality sets in… at least one of them comes first, and soon.

Most decisions have to be made when the emotional high is gone. Decisions have little to do with emotions actually… but does have a lot to with love. Do you love God? “Then keep His commandments…”

Most of us like to make declarations, rather than decisions. The people around us are impressed, are wowed, and we look cool! Along with it comes the expectations that you’ll actually make the decisions necessary to fulfil the actual thing declared. Which is where people stumble. No cameras and bright lights for decisions… you make those by yourself. Decision-making is not easy.

But incidentally, that’s what Christ is after… Our decisions. Those build character.

Many have made declarations, and have gone off course – that’s because declarations can’t save us. Decisions can… good decisions can.

I pray that from today, we understand the difference between the two.

Fewer declarations are needed… and more decisions.


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