By: Staci Stallings
The genesis for my understanding of this word goes back to when I was teaching high school English. The school where I taught had a unique way to teach vocabulary. It was based entirely on learning the meanings of Greek and Latin root words. Now I have no idea how much that helped the kids, but it sure helped me.
When you deconstruct the word “Decide”, you come up with two parts: de- and –cide. De means “away from” in Latin – as in destroy, devalue, detour, or diverge. Cid or cis means “to cut”, as in incision.
Putting the two together, you get “to cut away from”.
Now I had known this for a long time and always thought it fascinating. But it wasn’t until I was talking with a friend of mine about a friend of hers that I realized how much understanding this could help others.
My friend was telling me how her friend just didn’t get it. He refused to put things in God’s Hands because he “didn’t know how.” I told her that what he (or anyone) has to do is to decide to do it – to put life in God’s Hands. Then I said, “You know what decide means, right?’
That stopped her. No she didn’t.
I deconstructed decide for her and then said, “To decide means to cut off all other possibilities.” For example, let’s say you decide to have hamburgers for supper. As soon as you decide, you literally cut yourself away from all other possibilities – brisket, sandwiches, steak, seafood. The others are now no longer options because you have decided to have hamburgers.
It works the same way in the spiritual realm although it’s much less easy to see and therefore easier to let the important decisions slide.
Going to church, for instance. Have you ever really decided that church is beneficial for you – or do you just go because you’re supposed to? How about having faith that the best outcome in God’s eyes will happen? That’s not an accident. It’s a decision – where you literally cut yourself off from all other possibilities.
Deciding can be one of the most life-changing things you ever consciously do. It is like pruning a grapevine. If you let the vine go, it will be one big jumbled mess and produce very little fruit. But if you prune it, cutting away that which is simply in the way rather than productive, the good branches will have the chance to produce richly.
So today when you make a decision about what to wear or how to spend you time, do it wisely and do it well for all the possibilities are available to you until the moment you decide. And once you decide, all the non-productive branches fall away – if you have decided wisely!