The hardest decisions are not between good and bad but between good and better. Oh, we might say a decision is hard when really mean the consequence are hard to live with. We know one way is bad but we really want to do it anyway. The choice is clear but our desires and weakness make us want to choose poorly.
What I mean by hardest however, is when we are unsure what to do. Both ways are correct and any decision feels like something is good is left behind. Which way is good and which way is better?
I see these type of decision exemplified in scripture, such as when Jesus is healing people in Mark 1:32-38. People are in need and Jesus is healing them but Jesus makes the decision to go to another place to preach. Also, in Luke 10:38-42, when Martha gets so caught up in her preparation that she forget to listen to Jesus. Or in Acts 6 when the apostle have to figure out how to solve a church dispute without interrupting their ministry. In looking at these, I see two things to consider to help us when we face a decision between good and better.
The first is purpose. Jesus said he had to go and preach since “that is what I came for” (Mark 1:38). The apostles had a job and would have to neglect it to do this other job. Just because something is good doesn’t mean it is good for us to be doing it. We can get bogged down by things that keep us from doing what we are supposed to be doing. Not only that, we can be taking away from others service by doing their job while our job remains undone. Decide what is our purpose and what choice helps us complete that purpose?
The second is priorities. There are good thing that we can be doing but are they what we need to be doing. Martha could be getting things prepared but it wasn’t the most necessary thing. The apostles had to give the word of God their complete attention. Jesus had a limited time on Earth and had to get his message out. Once we determine our purpose, it helps us make our priorities. What is the best use of our time and energy, to complete our purpose? When we do take care of the most important things first, it is amazing how all other things have a way of falling into place.
If Satan can’t make us unfaithful, he will try to make us unproductive. One way that happens is when we overload ourselves in trying to do too many “good” things and never doing what’s best. We get stuck in mire and what left incomplete is at the top end. When we choose what’s best, God always finds ways to fill in the good things that need to be done. There are others whose purpose is to fill those tasks. There won’t be a gap. Finding the best is knowing your purpose and making sure the task is a priority.