Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
do the next right thing


Find and Do the Next Right Thing


I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Peter. Peter: the impulsive, well-meaning disciple who wanted to do the right thing. Unfortunately, his propensity for putting his foot in his mouth often got in the way.

I know the feeling.

  • Peter was the one who wanted to build 3 shelters to memorialize Jesus’s transfiguration with Moses and Elijah (Mark 9:5). He meant well, but Peter missed the point: Jesus was greater than Moses and Elijah, not equal to them.
  • Peter was the first of the disciples to identify Jesus as the Son of God (Matthew 16:16). But just a few verses later in the same chapter, Jesus predicted his own death, and Peter rebuked Him!
  • Peter refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet, until Jesus told him that if he didn’t, Peter would have “no part” in Christ. Of course, Peter did a 180 and proclaimed, “not just my feet, but my hands and my head as well!” (John 13:9 NIV).
  •  Peter boldly proclaimed he was ready to lay down his life for Jesus (John 13:37). That’s when Jesus predicted Peter would deny Him 3 times in less than 24 hours!

Poor Peter. Wanting to do the right thing, but often clueless to know what that right thing is.

I can so relate. I want to do the right thing during this pandemic. But even the experts don’t always agree on what that is. I want to say and do the right thing during this racial turmoil. But what I think is right may be viewed as insensitive by the very people I love and want to support.

In our polarized culture, whatever I do is almost guaranteed to anger 50% of the people I know. So how do I decide what the next right thing is?

Asking for advice brings me conflicting opinions and leaves me wondering who’s right.

Following my heart, as the Hallmark movies often tell me to do, can lead me in the direction of my desires, but my desires aren’t always right.

Following my head may lead me in the way of logic, but fails to account for the emotional components of my relationships.

The answers are found where they’ve always been located. Examining what the Bible says brings me to the next right thing. Others may not like what it says. I may not even like what it says all the time! But the Bible is an unchanging standard of righteousness in a constantly changing world. I can anchor myself to its wisdom, trust the Author, and leave the results to Him.

While I may need courage to do the next right thing, I don’t have to wonder what that next right thing is.

Where do you go for answers? How do you know you can trust your source?


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