There's a good reason for being good

Some people seem to be anything but good. They commit both minor and major infractions of moral and civil law and yet never seem to get caught or pay any penalty for their arrogance. Indeed they even appear to live what the media tout as "the good life." Should people who are striving to be genuinely good be even slightly envious of such individuals? When it is clear that spiritual goodness is indispensable to having eternal life, who would want to live any other way?

Sometimes it is said, of course, we should be good so that we'll get into heaven someday. But most people don't want to postpone their heaven. They want it now. And that's a legitimate desire if we understand what "heaven" really means. Generally when we think of heaven, we think of peace, joy, harmony, something unimaginably good. And we can begin to experience such harmony—a practical heaven that meets our daily needs—right where we are today. But obviously it can never come through discarding the need to be good, through lying, cheating, sexual immorality, or a casual disregard of God's moral and spiritual laws. Because heaven is of God, such a state of heavenly peace and joy can come only through our own demonstrated Godlikeness.

True good does not come through matter, through materiality, through acquiescing in the ways of the world—even though it often appears to. The Bible says to anyone who is feeling envious of those who don't obey God's laws: "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb." Ps. 37:1, 2.

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The joy of being faithful
July 28, 1986

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