If God isn’t Real, will you still try to be Good?

The Bible tells me to be good and Holy. But what if I don’t believe in God, will I still try to be good?

If I don’t believe in God I can have several reasons to be a good person:

One, being good is good enough in itself. However, I know from experience and from observing many people from different cultures that being good is impossible. Don’t misunderstand me, a person can do good acts, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that such a person is good. For sure, that person will fall short soon in many areas of life. I am not aiming for perfection, but being good means being consistent in his good ways.

Two, being good is great even without its rewards. To be a good person selflessly is a very good thought. However, again this is false. Being good basically means embracing suffering and pain. If suffering and pain are the only things you will get from trying to be good, then why pursue it? No way, if there’s no reward! Looking for a reward is a source of hope in the times of sufferings!

Third, being good attracts good relationships. Love begets love, and this is great incentive. However, even the most satisfying human relationships will never satisfy a human heart. This has been proven again and again. Our hearts is designed for something bigger.

What then, now? Being good is good only if there’s God who is living, loving, and Himself quite Good, or Holy. And that Only God has a Name, His Name is Jehovah, or Yahweh, or Jesus.

Going back to the reasons above, only God can meet the challenges for us to be good:

One, only God can give a person a good heart. The human heart is so corrupt only God can change it.

Genesis 6:5 (KJV) And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Jeremiah 31:33 (KJV) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

So, without God, it is impossible for a person to be good. Very imposible

Two, God gives eternal rewards to those who try to be good. It is God’s Character to reward. And these rewards do not negate the virtue of good deeds, but rather validate their goodness before God, indicating that God values goodness highly.

Ruth 2:12 (KJV) The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Psalms 18:20 (KJV) The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Third, only a relationship with God a man can be satisfied. Human relationships will never be enough, only in God there’s lasting happiness and peace.

Psalms 27:9-10 (KJV) Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

Psalms 16:11 (KJV) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

I affirm therefore with the Apostle Paul that if I do not hope in anything else in the after life for doing good and for being righteous, then I am to be pitied most among all else.

1 Corinthians 15:17-20 (KJV) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

So, I try to live a pleasing life to God because I have this hope of being resurrected and being totally one in Christ Jesus. Amen, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Goodness on Fire

Cover of "Merriam Webster Dictionary"
Merriam Webster Dictionary’s definition of goodness fall short in comparison to the goodness of God.

What biblical goodness is
Goodness, as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary refers to the quality or state of being good. The term good is then defined as a favourable character or tendency.

Receiving the compliment of being good is an honour and privilege – we may call many as exhibited some good acts, but labelling them as good people takes on a much higher level. Yes, being called good is such a rare opportunity.

National heroes may speak well of the term – but not all of them. It only shows that the term is heavy and calls for uniqueness.

In the Bible, the term goodness is said fifty (50) times in the King James Version (KJV), in which more than 90% refers to the goodness of God. Good is said seven hundred fifty (750) times, and the majority of it coming from the acts and nature of God. Very few of the biblical terms goodness and good refer to a particular biblical character. Clearly implied, goodness is a virtue in which God is exemplary, and none of His creation comes close to the degree of His innate goodness or good character.

A survey of the use of both goodness and good in the Bible defines the meaning by its qualities that are exhibited when practiced. One key area is forgiveness. When God shows goodness, it is often associated in His unwavering commitment to forgive His straying people (e.g. Isaiah 63:7). Another is God’s willingness to bless peoples materially. This is evident in the way God blessed Israel in the Old Testament times (1 Kings 8:66): God loves to bless His people not because of their own merit but because God desires to glorify His Name. It is also God’s way of showing that He desires a people who will speak of His goodness.

The list could go on but maybe the most important of all is how the goodness of God relates to His character of love. In the Holy Scriptures, the goodness of God in relation to His love (actually mercy (chesed), but the term mercy/lovingkindess implies love according to Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew) is mentioned sixteen (16) times in the KJV. When God chooses to do wonderful good acts, it is because He does it out of love. Or to put it differently, because God is love, He will never cease to do good things. Wow! O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)

The goodness of the Lord therefore is of a separate class. It is far beyond the idea of human kindness. The goodness of man has its own limits, and its nature is imperfect, but God’s goodness crosses boundaries and is perfect in its nature.