How do you know that you have done the ‘right thing’ in a situation?

How do you know that you have done the ‘right thing’ in a situation?

Asked by annette

How do you know that you have done the ‘right thing’ in a situation? What if everything that you do is going to hurt someone and there is a spiral of mess which cannot be fixed? With every step you take, it seems like it’s not the ‘right thing’ that God is expecting. What do we do then?

Hi Annette,

This is such a hard question. It’s a horrible feeling when we think we’ve done the right thing and it ends up hurting someone. It’s important to realise that sometimes doing the right thing will hurt people and often in ways that we couldn’t have anticipated. God will certainly not hold us responsible for all the unforeseen consequences of our actions.

Of course it’s important to think about the consequences of a decision before we make it. But you shouldn’t feel that you’ve done the wrong thing just because you thought you made the best choice and yet it turned out badly.

I think part of the problem is thinking that there is only one ‘right thing’ to do in a situation. Often there are many right and godly ways to act and we have to choose one. God is not waiting to see whether we will choose one particular path out of many good paths. Rather, he has given us the Bible to instruct us in how to make wise decisions. He is pleased with every decision that intends to honour him.

It would be good for you to talk an older Christian you respect about the situation you’re in. See if you can explain to them the way this person feels hurt by you and what you can do about it. It may be that there is nothing you can do to make it right except to pray for the person and apologise for anything that was hurtful.

But you need to know that bad consequences don’t always mean a bad decision was made. All God expects is that you will honour him in the best way you know how.


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