Voice of the Vestry | By Elizabeth Wolterink

Choosing the Right Thing

July 2023 | By Elizabeth Wolterink, Vestry Member


How often we are confronted with complicated situations in which we must make a decision about how to move forward. Choosing “the right thing” can be a seemingly overwhelming burden. Our society seems to tell our young people that their future depends on the right choice of school or major or trade. As adults, we face incredible pressures to choose the right partner, the right parenting style, the right work/life balance. Throughout our lives we face complicated moral decisions. “Right” in all of these examples can mean anything from successful, to healthy, to ethical.

The Bible tells us many times to “Do what is right in the sight of God.” But God’s sight is clear. Ours is not. Often what is right is muddy, or scary, or opens new doors that require further muddy and scary choices. We often feel like if we choose the right thing, we will experience a
deep sense of relief or the sudden knowledge that, yes, that was the right choice! Sometimes that happens, but often we are still unsure. Sometimes even choosing what we absolutely know to be the right thing does not resolve anything and might not even feel particularly good. The right thing is difficult and often comes with consequences, some obvious, some hidden.

Choosing what is right takes discernment and courage. Pray. Talk to your friends and spiritual advisors. Try to understand the situation from all sides. Give grace to yourself and others involved. Pray some more. Listen to those you respect. Don’t try to choose or act alone. Ask for help. When help arrives, accept it, even if it doesn’t look like you thought it would. Keep your heart and mind open to possibilities. Keep praying. And when you decide on your choice, have courage and trust in God that it is right.

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