You’ve probably heard the expression “Just do the next right thing”. Sounds logical, but is it really godly advice? When your kids are faced with a decision is this the best godly advice to give them?
The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman attempts to give readers a “simple soulful practice for making decisions”. Although that is a bit misleading, for the book is actually filled with quite a few different tools to use when faced with decisions.
Each chapter explains a technique the reader can use – twenty-four in all. The chapters are short and easy to read. The author sprinkles her life experiences throughout each, explaining how that particular tool proved helpful to her in a situation when she faced a difficult decision.
The advice is mostly solid, although in a couple of spots I think her personality colored her feelings about more common methods like pro-con lists. While her criticism wasn’t wrong – it didn’t necessarily reflect every personality’s experience with them. Some people do find them helpful, because in the act of writing them, their true feelings become clear (being “forced” into a decision can reveal your true feelings you may have been denying before the list).
While the book is billed as a Christian book, there weren’t a lot of scriptures given. At times she referred to God, but I wouldn’t call this a book that could be used as a Bible study without a bit of work by the leader to find relevant scriptures . Once or twice there were places she could address specific scriptures – especially because on the surface they appear to disagree with her advice – and chose not to do so. (Proverbs 15:22 and her advice to not really think about the future, but just worry about the next step, for example. While this works in some situations in others, there needs to be a plan of some sort to know what the next right thing may be.)
At the end of each chapter, the author provides a “prayer”. I’m really not a fan of this practice – not because I don’t believe in prayer, but because I don’t like people telling others word for word what they should pray. Her “prayers” read more like poems. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with them, but I think the space would have been better used by asking thought questions to go with the proposed activities.
I do appreciate that at the end of each chapter, the author provides activities for the reader to do to use the tools and techniques with a decision they are currently trying to make. For many, I would assume this gives them the motivation to actually use her ideas and not just read them and immediately forget them.
I would say this is a great book for those who struggle making decisions or who feel stuck making a major decision. While you could argue the pros and cons of any advice you are given, this book has enough ideas that hopefully readers will be motivated to become unstuck by – at the very least – doing the next right thing.
A copy of this book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.