Being good (2)
Sometimes we hear people say, ‘Be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful!’ It’s meant as a joke, but when we unpick the statement, it’s far from funny. It implies at least two things: If we choose to do bad things, we should choose less risky activities; or, if we decide not to be good, we should make sure we’re clever enough not to get caught doing the wrong things. Either way, it makes bad things seem acceptable under certain conditions. But in God’s eyes, choosing the bad thing is never okay. Goodness isn’t a matter of personal preference or our own interpretation. We need to allow God to define our standard for goodness. If we’ve strayed away from His standard and done things wrong, it’s never too late to go back to Him. He won’t turn us away and He won’t love us any less. We should make this our prayer: ‘You have done many good things for me, Lord, just as you promised. I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge. I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees’ (Psalm 119:65-68 NLT). Our old natures will constantly try to drag us back to our old ways of doing things, so we have to be just as persistent about focusing on God and the new natures He’s given us. As The Message puts it: ‘everything…connected with that old way of life has to go…Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life – a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you’ (Ephesians 4:22-24 MSG).
Were there any moments yesterday where you wandered away from God’s standard of goodness? Today, tell Him about them, and ask Him to help you always keep His standard of goodness in your thoughts.
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