a great day to be good for goodness’ sake.
“They celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.” Psalm 145:7 NIV
We’ve all experienced some of them at one point in our lives or another. More than likely, as children we have all heard someone explain that bad behavior would trigger some sort of negative response or punishment and this is what was commonly referred to as “facing the consequences.”
Those of us who are parents have probably employed the same techniques of sitting a child down and explaining that what he or she had just done was “wrong” or “bad behavior” and that any repetition of that behavior would carry consequences of one type or another.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that this method of steering individuals, young or old, to proper behavior is used often. Use seat belts or the consequences will be a ticket (or worse). Do not drink and drive or the consequences will be jail (or worse). One has to wonder sometimes if we are capable of doing the right thing for the right reason and not simply because something bad will happen if we don’t.
The old adage, “What Would Jesus Do?” can only be answered one way: Jesus would do the right thing. Of course, since the rest of us do not have the distinction of being Jesus, how are we to know what the right thing is? How can we change the way we look at things so our goodness is driven by goodness itself rather than by the consequences of our actions?
By being positive and by constantly thinking about the benefits of doing something (or not doing something). For example, we should want to wear a seat belt to protect us in the event of an accident because we are important to our friends and family. By the same token, we should not want to operate a motor vehicle if we have been drinking for those same reasons, plus the additional positive reasons of not wanting to risk causing harm or tragedy to befall others.
The same process or principle can be utilized in every aspect of our daily life. It is simply the act of letting the Bible guide us and thinking about how what we do affects others. And those of us who are parents can begin teaching our children to think less about consequences and more about other people.
We can live, and raise our children, by the principle that we are good simply for the sake of goodness. Because it is the right way to live, the right way to act, and the right way to do exactly What Jesus Would Do.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson