“WISDOM OF LIVING (5): BE GOOD” By Pastor YAU
INTRODUCTION: It is not easy to define “be good” in a general sense. It has to be contextual and specific. To little babies, “be good” means take the bottle, don’t wake up in the middle of night and don’t cry all the time. To children, it means listen to mom and eat food in the plate. To youth, it means do well in school and don’t make trouble. To adults, it means work hard, get promoted and come home after work, if he is married. With few exceptions, I believe most people want to be good and expect others the same. But why are there so many bad people and why do we do bad things more than once in a while?
While “be good” is a noble goal, many factors affect us otherwise. Things like the society, popular values, personal choice, attitude and temptation from all sides, just to name a few, are strongly pulling us from doing good as we should.
The BIBLE has so much in encouraging us to be good and do right. Over 100 times in the Bible, God promised His blessings on people who are good and do right.
WHY DON’T PEOPLE WANT TO BE GOOD?
While it is virtually impossible to list all the excuses why people don’t want to be good or do right, there are some common elements many may take to heart:
1) Because good is AGAINST human nature. From the very beginning, all that men had were evil in their hearts and thoughts, Gen. 6:5. It is not just the Al Qaedas are bad, we are all bad in the eyes of God. That’s why Paul, the Apostle, said in Romans , that “all have sinned.” We all know that it is so difficult to train a child to do right, but he can do so many wrongs without anyone helping. There is just nothing good in human nature.
2) It is IMPOSSIBLE to be good and do right all the time. We may have tried many times with all we know how and still break that promise more frequently than we want to admit. Again, Paul confessed his frustration in fighting a losing battle trying to be good and do right. (Romans 7:14-19)
3) A life of “be good” is BORING: Just look around you and how much fun others have, doing whatever they want and get away from it. Setting so many restrictions is just too much and too boring.
4) It is too LONELY to be good in this world of bad people. People need friends, acceptance and support, and all around them are lot more bad people than good ones.
BE GOOD AND DO RIGHT IS GOOD FOR YOU:
Despite of the above excuses, men still know it is good to be good and do right. Here are some of the obvious benefits if we try to be good and do right.
1) You will have inner PEACE when you be good and do right. Be bad and do evil always carry the burden of fear and shame. You feel tall and good on the inside.
2) Be good and do right will save us from getting into TROUBLE. Everything we do will have consequences. Sooner or later, they will catch up with you.
3) Be good and do right will bring POSITIVE and beneficial influence on people around us: family, friends and society.
4) God will BLESS those who are good and do what is right. God told Cain if he had done right, he would have been blessed. (Gen. 4:7)
HOW DOES GOD RESCUE GOOD PEOPLE?
No one can limit what God can do, but know God will rescue the good in two ways:
A) PREVENTIVE WAYS: God rescues or saves people by providing preventive measures: warning signals sent before bad things happen to you:
1) Voice of the Holy Spirit: that small voice inside you will call and alert you to stop. It is your choice to listen or to reject that voice from God, that warning signal.
2) His word: reading or listening to the Bible will also alert you dangers. Either thru your personal quiet time or group Bible study or in worship hour, God will talk to you and guide you to choose the right path.
3) Godly people: your love ones and spiritual leaders who will warn you of the danger. They always have your best interest in mind when they give you advice. Be humble and respectful to listen.
4) The environment: God will block you from going into the ditch by setting up walls of protection to save you from trouble.
B) REDEMPTIVE WAYS: These are steps God will take even when we are already in trouble. These are RESCUE measures to deliver us from trouble:
1) God promises to be with us even in time of trouble. His love never leaves us. His
power will never leaves us in time of trouble.
2) He always will bring unexpected good results to benefit us even in our failures. When Job was in trouble, not of his fault, he reassured himself with these words: “God knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
Let us be good and do right at our best. Be sensitive and obedient to the signals God has sent our way in keeping us from falling into pitfalls. Keep close to God and godly people. Be humble to admit that you need God everyday and every step of your life.