The Four Tests of Moral Action
Lent – Week 4 – Compass
How do you make difficult decisions?
Peter Chao suggests that when making difficult decisions, we should imagine how our decision would be received by four different people representing different sorts of interests in our work:
Sleeping test – If I do this, can I sleep at night?
Newspaper Test – Would I do this if it were splashed on the front page of the morning paper?
Mirror test – If I do this, will I feel uncomfortable with myself when facing the mirror?
Child Test – If I do this, would I mind telling my teenage child?
Christians would want to add a fifth test:
God test – If I do this, what would Jesus make of it?
Of course the answer to the fifth test will not always be straightforward since the Bible could not possibly contain Jesus’ last word on every conceivable situation. However, developing the practice of asking the question is a good place to start, and it helps us to think about the consequences of our actions.
[Source: Used with permission. ‘Four Tests’ concept quoted in: Doing God’s Business: Meaning and Motivation for the Marketplace R Paul Stevens (Eerdmans,2006) p.154]