Have you ever been in a dilemma in which you weren’t sure if you were made the right decision? As all can attest, the wrong decision can affect us in every area of life to include that of our family, finances and careers.
It can also affect our spiritual, physical and mental fitness. All of us are regularly faced with making such decisions and as a chaplain we spend time helping Marines, Sailors and their families in such matters.
Most people are aware that chaplains have assistants called “RPs”. When I ask people what they think “RP” stands for I get different answers. However, the one I like the most is “Religious Police.” Actually, “RP” stands for Religious Program Specialist and they also help people make the right decisions. So, I want to introduce a model I use to help people make those decisions. If you ask a chaplain “what’s better than 1 RP?” most would reply “2 RPs”.
“2RP” is my model/acronym and it addresses the following: Always consider the rules, the results and the people. Too many times we neglect to think about the rules that govern our decisions, the results of those decisions and the people that are affected by those decisions.
1) What rules apply?
Laws? Orders? Duties? Principles? As a Christian we should always first consider the values we have and where they originate. My values are based on the Word of God, its teachings and principles.
Before I make that career, family, financial, or ministry decision I must go to the word of God and prayer. This will help me make the right decision. Every person must determine their own measuring stick, values and ethical guidance.
2) What are the possible results from the choices?
What are the priorities and goals on all sides? How many of us wish we could go back and ask this question before making some crazy decisions? The results can be good or bad depending on our guidance and the rules we allow in our lives to guide us.
3) What about the people involved?
What human rights are affected? What relationships need to be considered? What would someone you know and respect do in the situation? I personally have some decisions I would have made different if I would have used the 2RP model.
Many of us are faced with difficult decisions on a regular basis and others have very difficult decisions depending on the season of their life. It is always best to consult others before making any major decisions and as a principle in my own life I try to abide by Proverbs 3:5-6 (NET) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.”