No, this article is not about people who love those golden slices of deliciousness served at Perkins or the Waffle House. This article is about those who have a difficult time making a decision and bounce back and forth between options. Wafflers can’t make up their minds and when they do make a decision, they constantly second-guess themselves on whether they made the right decision. Waffling drives them and everyone around them bonkers! So, why do they do it? Why can’t they make a decision and stick with it? Are there any biblical examples of wafflers? Finally, what’s the answer for chronic wafflers?
Let’s start with the “why” question. Why do people waffle when it comes to making a decision? Here are several reasons you might give for waffling:
- “I’m afraid of making a decision.” Fear is probably the number one reason for waffling. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of the consequences for making the wrong choice.
- “There are too many desirable choices.” Choosing is hard because all the choices seem desirable and picking just one is hard. Think of the last time you had to choose a slice of pie at Bakers Square. So many good choices causes waffling.
- “I’m ‘commitment-phobic’.” I don’t want to make a choice so I stall by waffling and keeping you hooked? If I make a choice then I’ve made a commitment and I can’t or won’t do that, at least not right now. Where does that leave you? You are stuck waiting for me to make a decision and your emotions rise and fall with each waffle.
There are probably other reasons that I missed but those come to mind as the main ones for waffling. Let’s tackle the next question. Are there any biblical examples of waffling? Yes, there are two. First, consider the story of the great showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal described in 1 Kings 18. Here’s a synopsis of the story. Elijah challenges King Ahab of Israel to gather all 450 prophets of Baal and all the people from the tribes in Israel and come to Mount Carmel. When they arrive, Elijah challenges the people to literally stop “limping” between the Lord God and Baal. He says, “If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him. But the people did not answer him a word” (1 Kings 18:21). In other words, Elijah is challenging them to decide who is their god, YHWH or Baal and stop waffling between the two.
The second example is in the New Testament. James exhorts believers not to be “double-minded” when he says, “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8). A double-minded man is a waffler who bounces back and forth between choices
Okay, so what’s the answer for chronic wafflers? Obviously the answer is to make a decision but to aid in that process, there are two ways to help wafflers make a decision.
- Set a time limit.Having a time limit forces wafflers to make a choice provided you stick with the time limit and don’t extend it. Extending the time limit only enables the waffler to continue waffling.
- Give limited choices. If your child is a chronic waffler, give him limited choices. “This is what we’re all having for dinner tonight.” That eliminates waffling.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). No waffling there.