The Next Right Thing

One of Becky’s principles is “do the next right thing.”

It’s a consistent reminder that life isn’t really about big, momentous events. The path is determined one small choice at a time. Make lots of good choices, one at a time, over and over again, and you’ll look back at a journey you can feel good about.

But…how to determine what’s right? If I want to take a step toward the next right thing, I need more than a collection of “thou shalt not’s.” The Ten Commandments only tell me where I SHOULDN’T go.

“Learn to do right; seek justice.”

Isaiah 1:17a

When I’m unsure, Isaiah says the next right thing is a step toward justice. But how? What would it look like for you and me to actually “seek justice?”

On its face, the answer seems simple. If people are hungry, feed them. If they’re poor, give them money. If they’re enslaved, free them.

I don’t think it’s that easy.

Of course we should free those who are enslaved. We should feed the hungry and assist those crushed by poverty. But that’s not seeking justice.

Providing money, or food, or even freedom, without addressing the systemic causes of poverty, hunger, and slavery, is not seeking justice.

Justice, in Kingdom terms, means setting things right. Seeking justice means taking seriously “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

I can’t do that if my first concern is convenience. That’s what Jesus means in the story of the rich young ruler. We don’t have to “go and sell everything,” but I’m pretty sure seeking justice requires me to examine my own privilege. When I decide based on safe and easy, when my next step seeks to maintain status and comfort, I’m unlikely to confront injustice in a meaningful way.

Nobody said the next right thing would be easy. Jesus never said do what’s comfortable.

Do what’s right. “Follow Me.”

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