Introducing my Quadrant for Self-Evaluation and Decision-Making

by Sarah Luna

Lately I’ve been giving a good deal of though to how I make decisions. Not simply everyday decisions like what to eat or when to walk to campus or how much work to get done.

I’m talking about the major life decisions based on philosophies, creeds, and religions.

As you well know by now, I’ve been looking for a church home in Ithaca–not always with a happy heart, by the way. This search has forced me to define to myself and to others what I am looking for and what I believe.

I am a scientist. I am a graduate student. I approach problems through research, and I approach research through reading. So I’ve been reading. A lot. This post isn’t going to go into what I’ve been reading or why, but suffice it to say that what I have been reading is forcing me to think and rethink.

Am I really in the right place to make these decisions? Can I really be unbiased and give every side a fair chance?

I am currently of a Protestant mindset. I have close friends in that same mindset. I have dear friends who are beautifully and intelligently Catholic who would rejoice if I joined them. I have an equally dear friend who would breathe a sigh of relief if I came to my senses and rejected the idea of God altogether. And I have new friends who believe that the Second Advent has already occurred.

Because of this, and without going into too much detail, I am currently addressing:

  1. Questions I’ve had my entire life. Personal growth still needs to happen even in times of searching. These questions can’t be put on the backburner.
  2. Church history questions that pertain to the origin of Church authority and subsequent use of that authority.
  3. Basic Christian apologetics.
  4. Messianic prophecy (because even if I don’t accept the idea that the Second Advent has occurred…I should really know how to recognize it…and I don’t.)

And amidst all this, I start theorizing about my personal thinking. I never did write about my Theories class, but let’s just say that theories now encroach on my everyday though processes. So I present this:

Quadrant for Self-Evaluation and Decision-Making

There are two traits that are counter to unbiased thought. The first is ignorance. One can’t think if one doesn’t know anything. The second is obstinance. If we are convinced that we are right and don’t leave any room for argument, we’re not thinking.

Right now, as depicted, I am in the least favorable quadrant. ย I am addressing the ignorance issue at the moment. I consider reading a library’s worth of books as simpler than trying to combat pride. Once I tackle ignorance, then I’ll work on pride. Baby steps.

If you want to assess your own place on my quadrant, I suggest listening to the State of the Union address or reading the transcript and asking yourself 1. Do I really know what he’s talking about? and 2. Am I sincerely willing to acknowledge the other point of view?