A photograph capturing a pair of hands gently cradling a worn Bible, symbolizing the scriptural guidance that inspires and guides individuals to do what is morally right.

What Does The Bible Say About Doing The Right Thing?

Doing the right thing is important for living a moral, ethical life according to biblical principles. But with so many choices and situations we face daily, it can be hard to always discern what action is truly ‘right’.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible encourages doing what is morally right, just, honorable and pleasing to God in all situations. Key principles for determining ‘right’ actions include obeying God’s commands, loving others, being responsible with what God gives us, speaking truthfully and acting with integrity.

Obeying God’s Commands

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments are considered the most important laws that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. They provide the foundation for how God’s people should live righteous and moral lives. The commandments cover our duties to God and our duties to our fellow human beings. Some key commandments include:

  • You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3)
  • You shall not make idols (Exodus 20:4-6)
  • You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (Exodus 20:7)
  • Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8-11)
  • Honor your father and your mother (Exodus 20:12)
  • You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13)
  • You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14)
  • You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15)
  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16)
  • You shall not covet (Exodus 20:17)

The Ten Commandments provide clear principles for living a life pleasing to God. As His followers, we are called to internalize and obey these commands. Though we cannot perfectly keep the law, Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law on our behalf through his sinless life (Matthew 5:17).

Jesus’ Commandments

In addition to the Ten Commandments, Jesus Christ also gave commandments that his followers should live by. Some of Jesus’ most significant commandments include:

  • Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30)
  • Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31)
  • Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34)
  • Go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15)
  • Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24)

Jesus’ commandments call his disciples to wholeheartedly love God, love others, love one another in the church, share the gospel, surrender our lives to Christ, and follow Jesus’ example. As author A.W. Tozer said, “The moral man obeys God’s law, the Christian man obeys God’s will.”

May we go beyond simple rule-keeping and obey God’s will from the heart.

For more on what the Bible teaches about obeying God’s commands, check out these helpful resources:

The Moral Essence of the Ten Commandments – Article by John PiperTop Bible Verses About Love – Collection of verses on loveJohn 14:15-24 – Jesus teaches on obeying his commands

Loving Others

Doing Good Deeds

The Bible encourages us to love others through action. As 1 John 3:18 states: “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” One key way we can demonstrate love is by doing good deeds for others.

Scripture offers many examples of serving and caring for those in need (Isaiah 58:10; James 1:27; Matthew 25:35-36).

Jesus set the example during His ministry on earth by preaching good news, healing the sick, feeding the hungry and forgiving sinners. He calls His followers to serve in the same manner. As Galatians 6:9-10 declares: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Meeting Needs

The early church provides an outstanding model of meeting people’s needs. As described in Acts 2:44-45: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”

What a powerful example of living out Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

Believers today can follow this model by generously supporting ministries that help vulnerable groups like the homeless, the elderly or victims of natural disasters. We can also strive to meet individual needs as we encounter them – whether through practical assistance, words of encouragement, a listening ear or intercessory prayer.

As Proverbs 3:27 instructs: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Loving others means responding with compassion when we see a need we are able to meet.

Forgiving Others

Forgiveness plays a vital role in relationships and community. Colossians 3:13 advises: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.” Harboring resentment and bitterness only breeds more negativity.

Forgiveness offers freedom and healing. As Ephesians 4:32 notes: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” When we consider the lavish grace God has given us, how can we refuse to extend that grace to someone who has wronged us?

However, forgiveness is often difficult. We may need God’s help to develop a forgiving heart (see Matthew 18:21-22). But the effort brings rich rewards, both personally and relationally. As we choose to forgive others, we tangibly demonstrate God’s redeeming love at work in us.

Being Responsible

Using Resources Well

The Bible encourages us to be responsible stewards of the resources God has given us. This includes our time, talents, money, possessions, and more. Here are some principles from Scripture on using resources wisely:

  • Be diligent and work hard. The Bible warns against laziness and encourages us to work diligently (Proverbs 10:4-5).
  • Use money wisely. We should avoid debt, save, give generously, and spend carefully (Proverbs 21:20, Luke 14:28, 2 Corinthians 9:7).
  • Use time wisely. We should make the most of our time and not waste it (Ephesians 5:15-16). Set priorities and avoid laziness.
  • Develop talents. The parable of the talents teaches us to make the most of what God has given us (Matthew 25:14-30).
  • Care for possessions. We should take care of our belongings instead of being wasteful and destructive (Matthew 7:6).

The bottom line is that the resources God gives us should be used wisely and for His glory, not squandered or used carelessly. We show responsibility and honor God when we use what He’s given us in a faithful, productive way.

Stewarding Our Bodies

Our bodies are gifts from God and He calls us to be good stewards of them. Here are some biblical principles for stewarding our bodies well:

  • Present your body as an instrument of righteousness (Romans 6:12-14). Use your body for good purposes, not sin.
  • Honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Avoid sexual immorality.
  • Exercise self-control over your body’s passions and desires (1 Corinthians 9:27). Avoid gluttony and drunkenness.
  • Get adequate rest and sleep (Psalm 127:2). Don’t push yourself to exhaustion.
  • Eat healthy foods (Daniel 1:8-16). Fuel your body well and avoid junk food.
  • Stay active and exercise (1 Timothy 4:8). Keep your body fit and energized.
  • Avoid polluting your body with intoxicants (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). Don’t smoke, vape, or abuse drugs or alcohol.

When we steward our bodies well, we honor the Lord, experience better health, and are able to serve Him with more devotion. Our bodies are “on loan” to us from God and we should care for them with diligence and thankfulness.

Developing Skills and Talents

God gives each of us unique skills and talents to use for His glory. As responsible stewards, we should seek to develop these gifts to their full potential. The Bible encourages us:

  • Use your gifts to serve others (1 Peter 4:10). Discover how your skills can benefit people.
  • Practice and perfect your craft (Proverbs 22:29). Keep sharpening your skills with training.
  • Work with what God gave you (Exodus 31:3-5). Appreciate your own gifts; don’t envy others.
  • Increase your skills through training (Proverbs 1:5). Take classes and read books in your field.
  • Work diligently and cheerfully (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Give your best with the right attitude.

As we develop the talents God has given us, He is able to use us in greater ways for His Kingdom. We shouldn’t bury our skills but rather look for opportunities to grow them through education and experience.

Stewarding our talents well takes effort and commitment but it is honoring to God who gifted them to us.

Speaking Truthfully

Being Honest

The Bible has much to say about being honest and truthful in our words and actions. Proverbs 12:22 states that “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.” As followers of Christ, we are called to model integrity through living honest lives (Titus 2:7).

Practicing truthfulness builds trust in relationships and reflects godly character.

According to a 2019 Barna study, over 75% of Americans admit to lying on a regular basis. As Christians, we must stand apart from culture by adhering to biblical principles of honesty, even when it seems inconvenient or difficult. This honors God and witnesses Christ to others.

Standing Against Falsehood

The Bible clearly prohibits lying, bearing false witness, and spreading untruths. Exodus 20:16 commands, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Also, Proverbs 6:16-19 lists “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who speaks lies” as two of the seven things God hates.

As followers of the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), we are responsible to stand against deception. We must refrain from gossip, slander, false advertising and intentional fake news that distort reality. Promoting truth honors Christ and reflects His character to the watching world.

Owning Mistakes

Because we live in a fallen world, even followers of Jesus fail and make mistakes at times. Yet Scripture teaches the importance of admitting wrongdoing and making amends when we falter. In Joshua 7, Achan sinned by stealing devoted items but wrongly kept silent.

Yet after the truth came to light, Achan confessed fully, and God’s anger subsided (Joshua 7:19-26).

Likewise, we should freely acknowledge our shortcomings. Hiding sins allows the enemy to gain foothold (1 John 1:8-9). Owning up to failures allows healing and restoration to begin. Moreover, it reflects humility and models godliness for others navigating mistakes.

Acting With Integrity

Having Consistency Between Beliefs and Behavior

Acting with integrity means having consistency between one’s beliefs and behaviors. As Matthew 7:12 states, we should treat others the way we want to be treated. When we act according to our ethical beliefs, we build trust and lead by example.

Studies show employees are 64% less likely to engage in unethical conduct when they see leaders doing the right thing (Source: Ethics & Compliance Initiative).

However, pressures can lead people to compromise values. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2020 Report to the Nations, nearly half of occupational fraud is committed by ordinary employees.

Having an ethical decision-making framework helps people stay grounded when facing dilemmas. The Josephson Institute’s “SIX PILLARS OF CHARACTER” – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship – provide guidance.

Making Ethical Decisions

Several ethical decision-making models exist to evaluate complex dilemmas:

  • Utilitarianism weighs the overall good versus harm to the majority.
  • The Golden Rule considers what you would want done to you.
  • Kantian ethics evaluates whether an action respects human dignity.

Asking questions can also determine the ethical course:

  • Is it legal?
  • Does it comply with policy?
  • How could it affect others?
  • What would my family think?
  • Will it reflect positively on the organization?

Documenting the rationale behind decisions creates accountability. Review boards provide oversight for research studies to ensure ethical standards.

2005 64%
2020 86%

The table above shows the 36% increase in companies adopting ethics training for employees over 15 years (Source: Ethics & Compliance Initiative).

Keeping Promises and Commitments

Integrity encompasses keeping one’s word and fulfilling expectations others have of us based on our roles and responsibilities. In Matthew 5:33-37, Jesus teaches that our “yes” should mean yes and our “no” mean no – anything less comes from evil.

Leaders who break commitments damage credibility and trust.

However, unforeseen events occasionally prevent follow-through. In these cases, promptly communicating reasons and next steps demonstrates accountability. Apologizing for the inability to honor original promises also shows integrity. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”

So consistently matching words with actions – despite challenges – builds trust and ethical strength.


As we have explored, the Bible gives much guidance on righteous living in all areas of life. While we cannot always predict outcomes, God calls us to have faith and step forward in obedience to His word.

By keeping His commandments, loving generously, stewarding wisely, telling the truth and maintaining high integrity, our actions can align with His standards of ‘right’. As the Scriptures promise, those who live uprightly are a blessing to their communities and please the Lord.

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