We have this conversation with kids at school on a daily basis. It is always about choices we make. We try to encourage them to think about their choices and the consequences of their behavior before they make them.
Results of doing the right thing:
- The consequences are generally favorable for you.
- You have a clear conscience regardless of the outcome.
- What goes around comes around. It may take some time, but good will return to you in unexpected ways.
- Other people are blessed.
- You sleep better knowing you did the right thing.
- You develop a reputation of integrity.
- You show good judgement and maturity.
- You will have peace.
How do you KNOW if it is the right thing to do? If you have to ask yourself that question, don’t do it. Don’t confuse doing something good with doing the right thing. Your kid may want you to give them a new Play Station, but they are not doing well in school. What is the right thing to do? Depends on who you ask. Your kid would say, “If you really love me, you will buy it today!” A parent who is wise might say, “You bring your grades up at least one grade level and I will get it for you, and for every A that you get I will buy you a new game.” That is a win-win.
Generally, if you have a gut check about doing something it is a sign you should wait. More times than I can remember I have gone against that gut check and lived to regret it. If you are really struggling about what is the right thing to do, get counsel from someone who is mature and well-grounded emotionally and spiritually.
I recently asked a lady who was dating a guy if she was going to marry him. She said, “Probably not. He has issues with my work which requires me to travel and sometimes entertain clients over lunch or dinner.” The problem is that sometimes our hearts confuse our brains. Better to make the right decision even if it is a hard one than to suffer the consequences of a poor decision for the rest of your life. Do the right thing.