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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

October 21, 2013

Helping Teens Do the Right Thing

Teens always want to have helps for making the right decision or doing the right thing. Share these different "tests" they can take to help them make a good decision on the spot. Tell them to ask themselves these questions based on the following categories.

The Jesus Test

  • Is the act loving?
  • Does it serve others or is it self-serving?
  • Will it bring you a sense of joy?
  • Would a follower of Jesus do this?

The Mother Test

  • Would you be proud to do this in front of your mother?

The Children Test

  • Would this action give good example to those younger than you?

The Practicality Test

  • What will be the results if you do this?
  • Will the consequences be good or bad?
  • Do you have any alternatives to this action?
  • Do you have to do evil to achieve good? (A good end does not justify evil means to attain it.)

The Integrity Test

  • Will this make you more honest?
  • Will it strengthen or weaken your character?
  • Will you respect yourself more or less because of this action?

People Test

  • Will your action treat people as means or ends?
  • Will it isolate you from others or result in frayed relationships?

The Bible Test

  • Does the Bible outlaw action?
  • Specifically, do the Ten Commandments or Christ's law to love God, neighbor, and self forbid it?

The Reality Test

  • Would a reasonable person do this?
  • If someone asked your advice about this same issue, what would you say?

The Sinner Test

  • Do you admit that you are weak and may not be thinking clearly?
  • Is it possible that what you want to do might be wrong?
  • Are your passions getting in the way?
  • Will this bring you closer to God?

Prayer Test

  • Have you asked Jesus for his help?
  • Have you asked the Holy Spirit to enlighten you?

Church Test

  • Have you asked a wiser, holier Christian for advice?
  • Have you consulted Church teaching on this issue?

Have the students apply these tests and then follow their conscience! If they are honest in how they answer these questions, they are likely to do the right thing.


1 Mary Ann

Oct. 22, 2013
Very nice! Thank you.

2 Wendy Jangeesingh-Narine

March 11, 2017
Thank you for sharing this great message

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