How to Make Better Decisions with Love

Here’s a Valentine’s gift you can enjoy all year—how to use love to make better decisions, especially in gray areas.

When my children were small, rumors circulated about the hidden dangers behind some benign-looking toys, video games, and children’s TV programs. Confusing messages still bombard us today. How do we make good decisions when experts can’t even agree?

download-1Photo by: Josh Felise

Do you want to know a secret? What’s good for me may not be good for you. While some choices are black and white, others are gray. Some answers vary with individuals.

I’ve found a simple biblical principle that helps me make better decisions. It’s based on the following Scripture: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good,” (Romans 12:9 NIV). Let me explain how this helps us evaluate toys, people, activities, and other gray areas.

The Greek language uses different words to convey the nuances of meanings. The word used in this verse for evil does not mean evil in essence, but detrimental in effect. In other words, anything that is hurtful or harmful. If something sabotages my health, important relationships, faith, hope, and love, then for me it is evil. Let’s apply this to life.

Credit Cards

Are credit cards evil? That depends. How do they affect you? Credit cards benefit some by tracking spending. They tempt others to spend money they don’t have.

Years ago, Larry and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course. It recommended cutting up all credit cards. Larry and I discussed it. We decided to keep one card each.

I wrestled over cutting up the cards to a couple of stores. We had earned a preferred customer status that included many perks. But, I realized those benefits cost me. Sometimes, I bought items because I didn’t want to miss a deal not because I needed them. For us, one credit card is helpful. Many are not.

download-2Photo by: Mayur Gala

Video Games/Entertainment

What about video games? Consider the effect playing games has on the user and the rest of the family. Do some games bring out aggression that is released on other family members? Is the player able to limit playing time so important areas don’t suffer? Is it a fun way to connect with friends with no unpleasant aftermath?

How does this type of movie, book, or TV show affect my mind, emotions, morals, and faith?


Consider the effect of other people. Are my children more rebellious or better behaved after spending time with their friends? How does this person affect my values, beliefs, and contentment? Do I leave encouraged or discouraged?

Food and Exercise

Our bodies have different needs. I don’t do well with grains and my knees don’t do well with pounding. How does this food or activity affect me? Does this food or beverage tempt me to eat or drink when I am not hungry or thirsty?

Create Distance

The word for hate in the original language includes the idea of distance, separation, or cessation. In other words: Sincere love separates from harmful influences and stops destructive behavior. Discern what’s harmful for you and your family and stop it.

Sincere Love

Are you surprised that wisdom is related to love? Love pursues the best. It abhors hurting people. It doesn’t play on the edge of harm hoping not to cross the line. It protects.

Sincere love is glued to good—that which is morally honorable, pleasing to God, good in essence, and beneficial in effect. God and His word are all of this (Ps. 118:1; 119:39, Mark 10:18). Clinging to them makes us happy and wise.

Question: How can love help you with a decision you’re facing?

Click here to comment.


Debbie W. Wilson


For helpful tips on health and nutrition, I recommend my friend Ann Musico’s blog. Find it here.

Sometimes I link up with these great sites:

#SharingHisbeauty, #TestimonyTuesday, #IntentialTuesday, #TuesTalk, #Tell it to me Tuesdays, #A Little R & R Wednesdays #w2wwordfilledwednesday, #Wedded Wednesday, #Women with Intention,  #LivefreeThursday#Grace and Truth, #Faith ‘n Friends


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  1. Kelly Basham

    Wonderful post Debbie! I love that you said “What’s good for me may not be good for you.” Such wisdom in that statement. I need to tuck it away and not forget it. Visiting from Intention Tuesday.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Kelly!

  2. Joan

    Your post makes me think of the verse Romans 14:2-3 when Paul tells us not to judge those who only eat vegetables or only eat meat, etc. What is good for one may not be good for another. It is between us and God in these circumstances. Using love in all our decision making is wise. As we show kindness and are not judgmental, our thoughts are clear from criticism. That way, the path we should take is more obvious, you know? Blessings, Joan

    • Debbie Wilson

      I love that passage, Joan. We have enough to occupy us if we focus on how we are to live instead of trying to control others. 🙂

  3. Ann

    Debbie I love your approach to this – it’s perfect. If we look at each decision through the eyes of love, the decision becomes very clear. And I totally agree that some of these choices will be different for different people. The way I approach it when it comes to nutrition and weight loss in particular is to share this scripture with clients: 1 Cor. 6:12: “Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.” I think combining that with your approach is a beautiful way to make decisions that will be God-honoring.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Ann. I like how you apply 1 Cor. 6:12 to eating. Some foods that we’re free to eat are not profitable. We don’t want to be controlled by them!

  4. Lil at Embracing the Lovely

    These are all wonderful examples of how to make better decisions in our walk with the Lord! Thank you so much for sharing Debbie!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Lil!

  5. Lori Schumaker

    I love this post! We are currently dealing with a situation with another parent of a peer of my son’s. Our parenting is different. But only in the gray areas. Both our families love the Lord and seek to follow Him, but I disagree with a gray area. This was a good reminder for me to stop worrying and figuring out how to explain myself, but to simply let our actions be glued to God – glued to love.
    Thanks so much!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lori, I’m glad it helped. It helps me to remember that in those types of situations too. Bless you!

  6. Beth

    Amazing post and great last question, Debbie. I love the way your mind and heart works. I always feel like I walk away from your blog with something new, thought-provoking and heart-stirring to meditate on and it often changes my life for the better. I love visiting and pray that your ministry would thrive and bust out of its seams, my friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Beth, you are an amazing encourager! God bless you, my friend!

  7. Holly

    Debbie – this is beautiful! I love the explanation of the Greek definition of evil. I like how you introduce the idea of gray areas on subjects that can often be black or white, like credit cards. Just a wonderful concept overall, to make decisions with love.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Holly!

  8. Michele Morin

    I’m sent right to I Corinthians 13 by your wise words. No matter what I do — even if I give up all I own and have all the wisdom in the world — if I’m not acting out of God’s kind of love, it’s all for nothing.
    Valentine’s wisdom here!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Michele you captured it all in those words in those words from 1 Corinthians. Thank you, my friend.

  9. Alison [Life of Scoop]

    What a practical and wise post! I found you via Grace & Truth and I’m glad I did. 🙂 Your process for evaluating decisions with love is so important, especially in today’s society of making quick and hasty decisions. Thanks for the reminder to stop, ponder, and truly consider decisions in love.
    Have a great weekend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Alison! God bless.

  10. Renee Peebles

    Debbie I always enjoy and am encouraged and at times challenged by your posts.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Renee!

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