How introducing more G-d into our lives can ensure better decision-making


Rabbi Chaim Landa

As a rabbi and spiritual mentor, I am frequently approached by community members who are struggling with making important life decisions, whether in their personal or professional capacities.

These can be small things or some of life’s greater challenges: Should I switch careers? Am I choosing the right partner to spend the rest of my life with? With these types of decisions, the long-term result cannot possibly be known, and too often, people are paralyzed by the “what if.”

What if my new venture flops? What if he or she is wrong for me? What if the entree I’m about to order doesn’t satisfy my particular palate at this particular moment?

My advice in such situations, big or small, is most often the same: Introduce more G-d into your life, and by extension, into your decision-making process.

Here’s why.

Some elements of our decision-making process come down to a simple calculus. When you buy a new home, you find a neighborhood that’s a good fit, ensure your financial ability to pay the mortgage and hire a good inspector. When you buy a car, you do your research and bring it to a good mechanic for a once-over. We gather the facts and weigh the various options.

But then there are the elements that are by definition out of our control.

The house with the white picket fence might seem perfect now, but can one really know what the neighborhood will look like in 10 or 20 years, or what our life circumstances will look like?

There’s no way to be certain that the new car will withstand the Midwestern winters or, for that matter, whether the marriage you’ve happily entered will remain happy for decades to come. It’s simply not possible to know. One can hope—one can do all in their ability to keep their house pretty, their car in good working order and their marriage a happy and healthy one, but there’s no way of knowing.

The simple realization that so much is out of our control, along with the vulnerability that comes with it, paradoxically introduces an enormous amount of calm and meaning into our lives.

It’s when we think that we are in control that the anxiety sets in.

G-d doesn’t expect us to know how it will all turn out. He’s placed each of us in this world to use our unique talents to perfect the world around us, and as we go along this path of life, He wants each of us to make the best choice we can with the information we have when the decision is presented before us.

We shouldn’t just be guessing, of course. We need to rely on the practical and moral education we’ve received, and educate ourselves as necessary. But ultimately, it’s our responsibility to apply ourselves fully and make the decision.

The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, explained the role faith can play in our day-to-day lives. “One ought to always feel reassured and convinced that G-d will help overcome all difficulties in life, both material and spiritual,” the Rebbe taught. “One must feel especially certain that they are able to carry out their intended purpose in life and to do so with joy, with the assurance of G-d’s light, help and fortitude to carry out this mission.”

When we realize that not everything is on our shoulders, it frees us from the indecisiveness that can so easily plague our lives, and especially, our decision-making.

In other words, our faith doesn’t replace decision-making. It enhances it.

G-d put us on earth expecting us to do the best we can with the knowledge and abilities we have. And when we do that, we can be sure that we’ve done our part and that G-d will do His.

This April 12 will be proclaimed by President Joe Biden, Gov. Michael Parson and hundreds of other elected officials as “Education and Sharing Day.” It will mark 120 years since the birth of the Rebbe and will bring awareness to the Rebbe’s teachings on the crucial part that moral education plays in the development of our young people.

This ”Education and Sharing Day,” let us recognize that we cannot control the outcome of our choices; only G-d can. But we can control our decisions and our decision-making process.

Rabbi Chaim A. Landa, with his wife, Bassy Landa, directs the Chabad Jewish Center of St. Charles County, which serves the county’s Jewish population of nearly 6,000. For more information on the Jewish community of St. Charles County, visit: