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  • Tabitha Caplinger

Is this good?

"Life's full of tough choices, idn't it?"- Ursula, Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Life is full of choices. Some are small, like do I want pancakes or toast for breakfast. Others are much more complex with bigger consequences. We can often wrestle with knowing what is the right choice.

Cliché advice is to 'follow your heart' or 'do what feels good.' But we know our own hearts can be deceitful and that what feels good isn't always good in the long term.

What is good anyway? How do we know if something is truly good or good for us? How do we even define good?

Recently, I've put a lot of thought into GOOD. As a Christ-follower, I believe that God is good and that His plans are good and that He wants good things for me. But is His definition of good the same as mine?

Good, when speaking of God, harkens to a Hebrew word, TOV, which is about something fulfilling its purpose. (For a deeper dive into this, you can check out this message.)

By this definition, good becomes less subjective and less about how something feels. It becomes more about purpose. So, let's go back to this whole idea of choices. How do we know if something really is good, or just feels good?

Here are some questions I ask myself when I need some help knowing which choice is good. (This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are my top three.)

What does God's Word say?

Our go-to move should be to check the Bible. Which choice best aligns with what Scripture teaches us? The Word is the primary way God speaks to us, so it is the primary way we will gain the wisdom to know what to do. We can't get away from consulting Scripture. (Because this isn't always black and white, it can be good to talk to godly counsel who can help you understand God's Word if you need help processing.)

Is this more about building my kingdom or His Kingdom?

We are all created to know God and make Him known. So, when I have a choice to make that comes with consequences bigger than breakfast--ones that will impact my time, relationships, etc--then I want to be sure it aligns with His purposes. This isn't about looking so holy or being overtly preachy. This is about my motives and priorities. This question helps me check my own heart and ask myself my why.

For instance, when deciding whether it was good to make writing a priority, I asked this question. I love storytelling. I find delight in creating characters and worlds. I love being an author. But, I didn't want to make it just about me and building my fame, because that wouldn't ever really satisfy my soul. When I'm tempted to make it all about me, it gets discouraging and stressful. I actually ask myself this question often when it comes to writing, just to keep my heart in check and as a reminder of how I define success so I maintain peace.

What fruit will this produce? Is it the kind of fruit God desires and wants to nurture in my life? Is it fruit that will point to Him?

Choices will nurture the fruit we are producing--and we are always producing fruit--the question is just what kind. Something can feel good in the moment, but in the long term, it can steal our peace and joy, stress us out, and leave us bitter, resentful, or scared. Pausing to consider the impact this choice will have in our minds and hearts as well as what it will display to those around us, I've found to be super helpful.

We don't live in a vacuum. Our choices impact others. Sometimes very directly, and other times because they will consume the fruit that is nurtured in us. Because I am called to love God and love my neighbor, I have to consider if my choice will honor Him and if it's rooted in love for others.

In the end, it comes down to obedience, humility, and love--for God and others. I'm not looking for the easy choice or the comfortable choice, I'm looking for the wise choice...the tov choice.

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Aly Konkel
Aly Konkel
Mar 11

Thank you for this post. I've been really looking into scripture to find how to make better choices. I like the statement about what fruit will this produce. It adds another very important consideration to our choices.

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