Not every decision is clear cut. As leaders, we are often left to make the tough calls. It can be much like a big league umpire calling a low pitch near the corner of the plate. It has to be called. The game can’t go on until it is. A lot of people will agree with the decision and a lot of people won’t. It’s just a tough call. The Apostles faced one of these tough calls very early in their leadership of the church.
So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, …” Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven. (Acts 1:23-26)
They basically replaced Judas with the “flip of a coin”. No doubt, this was not only a tough call but a very important call. The one principle that is a foundational in this passage is the prayerful recognition of God’s sovereignty over the situation: “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen…” God knew the answer. All the Apostles had to do was to align their thinking with what God wanted and trust Him to direct their decision to that end.
When making tough calls, always place your trust in God’s faithfulness and not in how good your decision making process is. In many respects, the Apostles had a questionable process in how they made their tough call. They flipped a coin in order to make a very important decision. Their faith however was not in how good their process was but rather in God’s ability to direct them to the right man through His control of the situation. No matter how out of control something may seem to us, it is never out of God’s control. This is a truth leaders must trust.
There was much more to their process however than just the flip of a coin. These two “finalists” had been nominated by the group. Either man was probably well qualified for the position, but they could only appoint one. Secondly, they were unified in their process and how they made the decision. Simple recognition of God’s hand in the situation will bring confidence and peace to the process.
Tough decisions are coming. Be prepared by taking time today to think through how you might employ the basic principles from this passage to the tough calls you will have to make. Always involve trusted advisors. Pray over your decision and trust God’s faithfulness more than your process. Make the best decision with what you know and have faith in God to direct you along the way.
“We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision.” ~ Gary Collins