General Question

Vignette's avatar

How much "weight" do you apply your belief in your faith to guide you in really important decisions?

Asked by Vignette (2874points) 3 weeks ago

I have an opportunity to buy a business and the owner made mention in how he will look to “God” for guidance on his final decision on how to structure the buyout parameters notable when it should happen and the price structure of the deal.

I understand and respect the need to feel comfortable and confident in a very important decision, but I am struggling to best understand his motivations that are apparently dependent on some epiphany from above.

Should I perceive his reliance on confirmation from his God as helpful or a hindrance, a deal maker or a deal breaker or simply as a sign to take a pass since he can’t decide on his own fruition.

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45 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

I would not put any weight on the choice of words. All he is saying is that he has to think things through.

rebbel's avatar

I agree with @LostInParadise.
I would add that they’re thinking about it, considering the pros and cons.
Later, when decision time comes, they’d have made it with their own mind.
If God helped them, it would still be from their own mind, in my opinion.

snowberry's avatar

From the way you phrased it, I assume he’s a Christian. But far as you’re concerned, it’ll happen the way it happens. It has nothing to do with you.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I would be less concerned about the owner’s “story” around awaiting divine “guidance”. The fact that his prudent choice for careful consideration of the deal coincides with his professed religious dictates should be no cause for concern.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It depends on what your goal is. Are you making a new friend or buying a business?

If he will remain involved, I’d pass, as it doesn’t sound like you’d have any respect for him whatsoever, because of his religious beliefs.

Vignette's avatar

@KNOWITALL I kinda asked this as a general understanding of similar situations where a Gods guidance was at play. My participation is entirely bound by the dollars and sense of the deal. I just have seen this before and never gave it much thought because I never took the time to consider the “weight” another person might actually hinge their decision on. This is clearly one of those moments where he is now waiting on a confirmation from above.

My own situation here is irrelevant to the question I asked and only added it as a for instance. I am just curious as to how others have experienced this and seen the net effect of guidance from ones God.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Vignette For me, there is zero doubt, and I’m not even a very good Christian.

The net effect is hard to quantify, as we don’t know what would have happened if we did NOT believe, but I think most would tell you that life’s turned out pretty great.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Vignette -How do you know he didn’t just tell you that?
To answer your q, I do pray.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I am making the same kind of decisions now that I made was a Christian. I don’t think I’ve ever actually expected God to help me out.

As for buying the business, wouldn’t give what he said any thought, really. It wouldn’t factor into my decision at all.

What kind of business?

Vignette's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille This man was actually my employee 10 years ago so I know him, his beliefs and motivations so it is legit as far as I can tell. When you pray do you usually get an answer that is meaningful or answers the question on hand? Looking for a reliability factor here as well.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Vignette – I do but I am not him,now am I?

Vignette's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille My question was…“How much “weight” do you apply your belief in your faith” which can include you.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Vignette I’ve posted this before, so I’ll give you an example.

My mom’s had cancer for the last 8 years. There are times she feels great, other times she’s weak as a kitten, so I keep an eye on her.
Earlier this spring, she was sick during a big storm when everyone was hunkered down (March I believe.) She told me she was fine, I didn’t need to come to town to check on her or bring her anything, just let her sleep. So I accepted that, and sat back to spend a winters day relaxing indoors.

The thing is, I could NOT sit down. Literally. It felt like ants were dancing on my spine and I kept getting a nudge to go to my mother. I kept pacing around for at least an hour and my husband said, call her so you can chill out. I did and no answer. Finally, I said, I have to go babe, somethings wrong.

We got there and had to bust her door down, blood everywhere from a blood thinner interaction with her chemo. Her bp was 39 so we called an ambulance. The ER doc chewed me up one side and down the other, and said she would have died in about an hour if we hadn’t got her help.

You can call it whatever you want, but it was a very strong a push that I couldn’t ignore, because I tried. That was God.

Another:
My besty and I were spending a weekend in KC with her rich uncle. We were set to leave and drive back home Sunday. Well Saturday night, we were hanging out watching Faces of Death, and I got the push again. I was urged to get back home immediately. So since my friend was a Christian, I told her about it and she blew me off. After another hour or so, I remained extremely upset and told her I really feel like we need to go home right now. So knowing I am not dramatic, she said okay, let’s go.

It took about two hours to get home that Saturday night, and unfortunately she hadn’t listened quite soon enough. All our guy friends had come to our duplex to party and realizing we weren’t coming back, they took off and got in a wreck and one of them died. If we’d been home, they’d never have left.

Again, you call that push whatever you want, I call it God. When lives hang in the balance, I feel like He’s proven to me that He is very serious. So yes, I trust and obey.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Vignette -If I’m praying about it, quite a bit.

Vignette's avatar

@KNOWITALL Very compelling. thank you for sharing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Vignette Theres a thread from about seven years ago when we still had many theists here that was interesting. How has God proved his existance in your life? Pretty interesting to see how many people had similar experiences.

My point is, its a choice to believe in something on faith. But over a lifetime, these experiences are proof of a sort, to us. I’m a natural skeptic, and went thru many phases of spiritual life. I have a Quran, a Mormom bible, and have studied various belief systems in many cultures. I’ve attended services of all kinds including Pagan, so I’m not a cradle Catholic that never questioned anything. All my questions led to one answer, there is a higher power. Even our very atmosphere is a miracle in itself.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Every.. waking… moment. I listen and learn from my visions and flashbacks. Also every time that I have a random chance of failure I think it though.

Sagacious's avatar

None of the above. You don’t have to acknowledge the man’s Faith and reliance on his Faith at all. Talk about the deal with him, not extraneous irrelevant-to-the-deal things.

Vignette's avatar

@Sagacious There is a component to this deals dynamic that I know about you don’t in that this man is wanting to sell his business (he bought with Gods blessing) because he wants to devote 100% of his time to doing mission work for Jesus. So removing God from the negotiation table is not gonna happen.

kritiper's avatar

If someone said that to me, I’d look at them funny and not say anything.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Vignette, but his beliefs have nothing to do with your decision to buy the business or not. He can believe what he wants till the cows come home. Still makes no difference.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well they kinda do, because if God tells him not to sell to a heathen like @Vignette, the deal is off no matter what @Vignette says or does.

If he’s going to sell to go do mission work, he’ll probably also want a more favorable financial deal on his side, since he’ll effectively be working for free with expenses that the church won’t fully cover. Which could be to @Vignette‘s disadvantage.

Of course, @Vignette could have a vision or talk with God, too, about getting a better deal, I suppose.

Vignette's avatar

@Dutchess_III Actually God is and will play a front and center role on this biz owners interests both in selling the business based on the financial merits of the deal and on his own personal commitment to his God to begin his new chapter on doing full-time mission work. Anything I propose will be processed through his God who will then give the thumbs up or thumbs down.

Really what I see happening is he will be presented with numbers that are less than his mighty expectations and I have to wrap my offer in layers of sound reasoning and justification so that filtering this info through his God will get me the thumbs up IF I choose to proceed. Trying to see just how much weight a person of his ilk will depend on his God to make these type of decisions to see if I should account for God being part of the negotiation process and if so how to cater to this inevitability.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or @Vignette could remain silent about his (?) religious beliefs, @KNOWITALL, and the Christian could wait for God to tell him if he’s a heathen and whether or not he should sell to him.

Also, Christians + missionary work is a very sore spot with me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess you have to just proceed how you see fit, @Vignette, and let the seller wrestle with his idea that some supernatural being is going to tell him how to proceed.

Vignette's avatar

@Dutchess_III I guess I will have to wait and see how the God card gets played. As I see it now, I expect if I approach this deal with it facilitating his ability to transition his ability to make his Mission dreams happen, that will give me my best shot at getting his business.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What kind of business is it?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Oh ya, I was just kidding about @Vignette playing along. If he’s not a believer, I’m sure the seller already got that from the conversation. You and I both know it’s almost like a club, in that we recognize each other by our social cues and responses.

You’ll have to explain the missions thing someday, that makes me curious. I grew up around a ton of missionaries at the bible colleges here, so I don’t hear any negative associations here.

Vignette's avatar

@KNOWITALL His “mission” work is mostly centered around building and or improving housing for the flock of believers in a sister parish in Mexico for people that are poor beyond belief. Incomprehensible at least to me just how little these people have especially in terms of housing. Tarps and shipping pallets are their “homes” and speaker wire hooked to telephone poles that look like Maypoles are their source of electricity. No form of sanitation or available fresh water. Just sad on all levels.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I disagree @KNOWITALL. As a Christian I never went out of my way to discuss my beliefs. I never said inane things like, “Have a blessed day,” or “God bless you,” unless they sneezed. I never sent thoughts and prayers.

I’m on the board for Habitat for Humanity. It is a Christian based organization. Its mission statement is “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”

Its number 1 core principal is ”Demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.
We undertake our work to demonstrate the love and teachings of Jesus, acting in all ways in accord with the belief that God’s love and grace abound for all, and that we must be “hands and feet” of that love and grace in our world. We believe that, through faith, the miniscule can be multiplied to accomplish the magnificent, and that, in faith, respectful relationships can grow among all people.”

We start every meeting with a prayer. I have no idea how many members, and volunteers, are actually atheist. I suspect quite a few.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I also never felt like I was part of some secret club where we had to talk to each other in some sort of code.
But then, there are those who would argue that I sucked at being a Christian.

Darth_Algar's avatar

How much weight do I put in faith? None. Absolutely none at all.

And if I were buying a business from someone who wants to consult with his mystical sky daddy first then if it’s of no concern to me ether. Whether he thinks his god consulted him or not he’ll lay out his times. I will ether find those terms acceptable, or I will not.

Vignette's avatar

@Darth_Algar I pretty much have all that factored in. I perceive his reliance on Gods stamp of approval as a weakness in just as you point out the merits of the deal should suffice to make a yes or no decision. I have a few angles to play now that I know his decision hinges on a heart to heart with his boss above. Just want to hear how other have navigated these negotiations with a higher power and to what degree they actually affected any outcome.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Vignette Aw, that’s lovely.

@Dutchess_III Well maybe it just wasn’t for you. I can’t imagine someone asking for prayers and not immediately saying “of course!”
It’s pretty easy for me to tell in a few conversations usually.
And I’m not the greatest either, trust me. :)
I’ll likely be turned away at the gate, you know, me having gay and trans friends and all…lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

If someone asked me for prayers I would say “Sure.” In fact, not long ago a person asked me to pray for her father because it was very important to him. I asked her if she would like me to send a prayer directly to him or if she wanted to pass it on.

I just don’t respond to horrible events, like Newtown by blathering “Thoughts and prayers!” It’s bullshit. It’s a cop out.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III We all have different coping mechanisms in tragedy. I certainly wouldn’t judge a Pagan as a jerk for asking the Goddess for help, not sure why Christian prayers would be any more offensive to anyone.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Certain kinds of prayers just strike me as particularly vain, egotistical, even arrogant. Praying to, say, win the lottery. Praying for some politician to win some election or for some calamity to befall their political rivals. Praying to win that sportsball game. On that note: my favorite here was seeing some boxer, after beating his opponent to a pulp and winning the match, thanking God for giving him the talent to do so. “I wanna thank the Good Lawd Above, for giving me the ability to beat the ever-loving shit out of other men and to make a fuck ton of money for doing so. Amen!”.

JLeslie's avatar

I put zero weight on it.

If it was my boss, it just depends on how what they mean and how they behave. If they are waiting for some sort of sign from God that worries me. If they look to the word of their religion that might really bother me too.

If they pray and use that time for sorting their thought on a matter to make a decision, that is the same as any deep thought to process a decision, it’s just a matter of semantics to me. I have no problems with that. They might use the time to gather courage. Still ok with me.

Vignette's avatar

@JLeslie I did not intend this question to be about analyzing my potential buyout of his business but just a general appraisal of opportunities where approval or disapproval from a Deity is a factor.

FWIW, this particular detail is overly complicated, has many moving parts with multiple potential outcomes and why I am not put off by his apparent need or desire to consult with his higher power. I respect his need to meditate on the matter at hand. I am doing similar heavy thinking just not bouncing my decision off of a God above…I chose Fluther instead.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KNOWITALL it’s offensive because throwing up “thoughts and prayers” when 27 elementary school students were just slaughtered is utterly lazy and thoughtless. Show some emotion for god’s sake! Some original thought!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Don’t project onto me, I didn’t send thoughts and prayers to them or to people here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wasn’t projecting on to you. I’ve never seen you copy and paste “Thoughts and prayers.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Oh okay, my bad. I thought you were saying I did those things. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

No…I was responding to your comment ”...not sure why Christian prayers would be any more offensive to anyone.”

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