Many things in life are clearly right or wrong, good or bad. And we can have confidence in our choice with this clear dividing line. But at other times we must discern between the good – not good versus bad, but good versus good.
For instance, we might be faced with two great job opportunities, wellness programs, family vacations, or the like. Whatever the case, we cannot do both, but neither is a bad option. We must somehow decide between the good.
On the one hand, this can be easier when there are degrees of goodness present. While there’s not a bad choice per se, one might be clearly better than the other. And naturally we would choose the best option whenever we have the chance to do so.
At other times, the choice is still not clear. We might then consider timing and also weigh the impact on others. Just because something is good doesn’t mean it’s the right time. Is this the season to make this particular choice? Likewise, how does this decision impact the lives of others in the long game and not just ourselves?
Of course, we must also consider if this choice helps us to accomplish God’s call for our life. We often have to say no to many good things because they’re otherwise distractions from the work God has called us to.
As we wrestle through our choices, degrees of goodness might start to emerge that were not evident at first. But our choice might still come down to a matter of faith. What choice would we make if we were fully convinced God was with us?
Even still, this might finally be a matter of desire. We have the freedom to simply decide what we want when the options before us are equally good.
But it’s only in remembering we’re discerning good from good that we can make a truly wise choice. The issues become clouded when we make a false dichotomy – assuming one has to be good and the other bad.
In the end, life is not always a simple choice between the good and the bad. Grow in wisdom and faith by learning how to decide between good and good.