Sometimes I think…and think, and think and think. Over issues great and small, I tie my brain in knots. I can work myself into an ethical dilemma over something as simple as whether or not to turn off the overhead light of the blind man who is asleep next to me on the plane.

(I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, but the flight attendant eventually came by and turned it off.)


I occasionally struggle with whether or not to let the Bear pick the flowers carefully tended to in the communal areas of our neighbourhood. And the issue of giving money to the children nearby who are skipping school to beg at traffic intersections really sends me for a loop.

Do you ever think yourself into a corner while deliberating your next step?

I am thankful when I come back to the Scriptures, and a verse like this one finds its way to me:

Make it your aim to do what is right, not what is evil, so that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty really will be with you as you claim He is. {Amos 5:14 Good News Bible}

Whether the deliberation is regarding peanut butter and jelly vs. ham and cheese or prison sentences for parole violations, the Lord instructs us to aim to do what is right. Most versions say:

Seek good and not evil, that you may live.

The next verse goes on to say, “Hate evil, love good.”

This means to me that it’s good to take the time to look for what is good. To love goodness and to endeavour to avoid things that aren’t.

Though we perhaps cannot weigh up every aspect of every decision we make (we know not what we do — and I’d like to say sometimes — like peanut butter and jelly, it’s not so necessary) I think the Lord is pleased to see us hunger and thirst for righteousness even if we don’t get it right every time.

Thanks to Jesus there is grace when we miss the mark. Thanks to His Holy Spirit living inside us, we have help to navigate our next step. And if it’s our aim to love goodness and look for what is good, I think we might make our decision making processes a little more simple.

The next time you’re at an ethical impasse, try looking for the good, and trusting the Holy Spirit to help you find it.