Peace family, over the weekend, a friend shared a concept with me called “The 24 Hour Rule,” and it has already really helped me so much, that I wanted to share it with you!
Choices, especially expensive ones, and especially surprise ones, can really overwhelm me sometimes. Yesterday, I went to get my car’s oil changed, and the mechanic told me that I had several problems with my car. I was expecting, at most, a $300 problem… imagine my surprise, when he printed up a list of problems with an estimate saying they will take more than $2,000 to fix!
I was already tired from a full day at work, I was thirsty, I needed to use the bathroom, and I had already spent longer waiting than I anticipated, meaning that I was anxious to get home and do the things that I needed to do there. These factors, combined with this huge cost (plus, my dryer is not working, the repairman isn’t coming until tomorrow, and I don’t know how much that might cost to fix,) quickly overwhelmed me! Should I pay for all of it, all at once, and get it over with? Should I do these repairs one at a time? Should I get a second opinion? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have two grand to just throw around, willy-nilly! I asked for a moment to think, and I went outside.
Outside, I said a little prayer, and remembered my friend’s “24 Hour Rule”; basically, anything that’s going to be a very expensive, impulsive, or emotional buy, you wait a full 24 hours before you actually make a purchase. She and her husband bought something expensive on an impulse early in their marriage, and they regretted it for years. However, after they started to live by the 24 Hour Rule, they’ve absolutely cut down on their regrets. They have time to think through whether or not they really need something, time to pray about it, time to make sure that God is honored, and time for emotions to cool down. Also, if someone tells you that you have to make the decision right then, you just walk away. It takes away your feelings of helplessness, and puts the ball back in your court. The 24 Hour Rule is also pretty helpful in non-financial situations, like if you’re tempted to write an angry email. Sometimes, it’s a lot easier to articulate yourself in a way you can be proud of, when you’ve had time to draw back and consider.
I went back inside and told the mechanics that I needed to wait 24 hours to decide what I needed to do, and they were fine with that, which made me feel better. I feel better about my options today, and to be fair, I really, really enjoy my car, but it’s getting along in years, so it’s hard to decide how much to put into it. Even so, I feel very much at peace, and a lot better equipped to make a decision!
Peace family, if you’re facing difficult choices today, be encouraged! Give yourself time to pray over something. Here’s hoping that the 24 Hour Rule will help make decisions less stressful for you, from now on!