Why do you do good?
Why do you try to be a good person and do the right thing? Is it because that is what you were taught by a parent or grandparent? Is it because it is the “right thing to do” (at least according to your particular value system)? Is it because it makes you a happier person? Is it because that is what the Bible (God) says is the right thing to do? While all of those (and any other reasons we may come up with) may be good and legitimate, Jesus said the primary reason we do the right thing is because we love him, and therefore we want to obey what he has taught us.
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.'” John 14:23 NIV
When love for God (and others) drives our actions, we don’t try to be good because we have to, or else (the threat of consequences or punishments). We do it because we know it pleases God, and we want to please him. We do it because we know God loves us unconditionally and went to great lengths to prove it (sending the Son to earth and dying for us) . Obedience based on love entirely changes our mentality and attitude. We don’t have to be good, we want to be good and do good. We get to do good. Being righteous (the rich Biblical word for doing good), is as natural as breathing because love motivates us.
Again, what motivates you to do good? Is it love for God, or something else? If not love for God, why not? Do you not know or feel God’s love for you (I would encourage you to read my devotion, “God’s Unconditional Love”)? This is why understanding and knowing God’s character, including his love, is so important. Because as we know God, we also know who we are in relation to God, as his beloved children. When we know who we are and whose we are, and receive that, and his love is shed abroad in our hearts, then we are able to love God and others from the heart. We want to follow his commands, and we do so naturally. Even without thinking about it.
God thank you for your amazing love for me. Please help me embrace your love for me so I can know you, and be motivated to follow you and do the right thing out of love, not obligation.