Do Good - Be Good

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.  G.K. Chesterton

The top of the little girl’s T-shirt said, “Do Good,” but the bottom half was partially hidden. The portion I could read ended in “Good.”

I expected the second line to read “Be Good.” “Do Good – Be Good.” Two halves to life’s challenge – doing and being. But when she stood up, I was surprised to read, “Do Good – Feel Good.”

Today, “Feel Good” has moved ahead of “Be Good” as a worthy life virtue. How we feel in the moment takes priority over obedience to God’s standard.

In Galatians 5:19-23, the Apostle Paul lists numerous lies that promise a feel-good fix, but in reality, they deliver pain and destruction: “ sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery; idolatry, witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, and orgies .”

He then lists what the Spirit of God can produce in our lives: “ love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Feeling good is not found in any short-term refuge; it is a by-product of living within God’s design.

Feeling good will always be an elusive dream if we search for it in unfettered freedom. To find true goodness – and as a result, good feeling – requires conformity to God’s standards and obedience to his Word.  

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