Avoiding Decision Fatigue

June 18, 2023

You have probably experienced the scenario of trying to watch what you eat but have come to the end of the day when you didn’t have something planned and couldn’t decide on what to fix so you found yourself giving into the easy decision of just ordering pizza. That’s called decision fatigue. Face it. In each day you have made hundreds of decisions often for yourself and for others so at the end of the day or when other forms of fatigue set in, making the right decision is just not as easy as it may seem. It’s like something in your brain says I just can’t make a choice so that part of you that wants to be disciplined suddenly takes a back seat to the part of you that wants to get away with what you may have been denying yourself. Sadly, the results of decision fatigue can often result in more things than just food.

Think of our fallen parents Adam and Eve and the giving into temptation in the Garden of Eden. Actually, Eve we are told is the one who was tempted but Adam listened to his wife and evidently was close by, so he did not stand up and guard his wife when the serpent tempted Eve.

Genesis 3:1–6 (ESV) — 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

It’s obvious that for one reason or another instead of standing up and making the right decision they both gave into the moment and took the easy road. 

Joshua warned of falling away from following after God which can only be countered by making the choice and rehearsing that choice in your mind.

Joshua 24:14–15 (ESV) — 14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

You avoid decision fatigue on those things important to you by making the decision and rehearsing that decision to avoid falling behind in times of fatigue, stress, or temptation. Psalm 95 is a great example of making sure we do not fall into the trap of making a poor decision when fatigued.

Psalm 95:6–9 (ESV) — 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.

Note how God through the Psalmist gives preparation for making right decisions. Worshipping God and bowing before Him is a form of making the decision to follow the Lord before the temptation to fall away comes around. In fact, the Psalmist goes on to remind the readers or singers in the case of this Psalm that they don’t want to be like those who murmured, complained, and refused to do what God told them to do.

Indeed, we get overwhelmed with decision fatigue when we dwell on the negative things and it comes out in murmuring and complaining so when we read or hear of God calling us to make another choice, we can’t make that choice.

What is the remedy to decision fatigue? Make a plan for the moments of weakness by making good choices ahead of time. It’s called commitment and doing whatever it takes to follow through on your commitments. If it’s a change of diet, then plan your meals and work your plan by having the right things in place to avoid endless decisions when you know you’ll be fatigued. If it’s following God, make your decisions about time commitments before the time to make the decision. Commitments involve decisions, but commitment drives other decisions. Live by your commitments and your decisions will fall into place, even when you are decision fatigued.


Bob Brubaker, Pastor