Reflection by Kiarni Burton
What is right?
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
“How do I know what is right?” Is a question I get often from young people. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as “just make an L with your fingers and the one that’s backwards is right.” It’s a little more complicated than that. The question of what is right usually involves a complex mix of morality and ethics amongst many other things. However, I can’t truly answer their question because admittedly, I often struggle with the same question myself.
On average, humans make 35,000 decisions per day. These decisions may be as simple as looking both ways before crossing a road, or more complex decisions like what they would like to be when they are older. For a young person, decisions tend to snowball. If I pick the right electives in Grade 9, I will be able to graduate with the right ATAR, do the right degree, and get the right ATAR. If you get that decision wrong, it can feel as if your whole life plan has been thrown off course.
Many of our young people feel lost trying to make the right decision and seek out guidance from external sources. In the world we live in there are so many influences. It can be incredibly difficult to recognise both who or what is influencing a decision and how it is affecting it. It is important to help young people recognise who or what they are being guided by and if they are good guides.
We have an opportunity in youth and children’s ministry to help young people learn more about Jesus. The parables and stories in the Bible not only provide a solid foundation to build our lives upon but they also provide valuable guidance and points of reference in times of need.
The focus in this new era of youth and children’s ministry is on giving them the tools they need to uncover what is right. Whilst it would be wonderful to be able to construct the right path for them, it is impossible to do so. We want to give them the tools and support they need to help them find the right path and travel along it. The tools to listen, deconstruct and discern between what is right and wrong for them.