It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
A part of the divine nature is goodness or the things you do to benefit another person. God wants you to commit your life to doing good works for the sole purpose of benefiting the wellbeing of other people. Doing good works are compatible with the other commandments God has given us. Jesus said,
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Jesus Christ told the story about the Samaritan who helped the robbery victim found on the side of the highway back after being left for dead. In this story the Samaritan paid the innkeeper out of his pocket for the recovery of the injured person with the promise of more if needed. I am sure if being left for dead along the highways of todayís world were to happen to you that you would appreciate being cared for and stayed with until the ambulance arrives.
What would life be like if everyone devoted their life doing good things for you? Wouldnít you be living in heavenly glory? The golden rule to do to others as you would have them do to you would have to be exercised to achieve such glory. If you are benefit others and seek their wellbeing you must consider yourself a servant sent to serve the needs of your neighbor. Goodness calls for a special attitude that you need to assume.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
When you consider other people more important than yourself, it becomes easier to love others in the way you want to be loved. Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Jesus Christ stepped down from his throne and became a man to become the servant of God for the purpose of reconciling man to God. He devoted his life in being good, to healing and releasing men and women from the power of the devil. Ultimately, he died for evil men and with his blood bought those who would be saved. When you study the life of Christ, one has to ask whose needs Christ considered more important. How did his own life benefit his personal needs?
In the picture above can you see the extent that Jesus lowered himself to love mankind? Jesus Christ sat on right side of his Fatherís throne, but became a servant to man and a slave to those God loved. Christ resolutely faced death on the cross for the benefit of all mankind. Though he had the power to call down a thousand legions of angels to save him, by an act of his will Christ allowed man to debase and brutally execute him on the cross. Christ gave his all to please God and because of his effort you and I can stand before God as if we had never sinned.
You also have to humble yourself to become Godís servant. Sounds easy enough, but can you name three things you have done for God or one instant where you have helped someone in need in the last week? Are you about doing our Fathers business? Most Christians are busy with the affairs of the world just to make ends meet and survive till the next paycheck. Being concerned about being a good person is something seldom considered as a priority. The world may push you against the wall, but you donít have to retaliate.
Goodness is not an outcome of our natural life, but a desire to rule our life to please God. Your sinful nature and selfish desires will prevent you from using any form of sound reasoning concerning being good. Being good is the outcome of training and discipline. Everyone has to be taught how to overcome his or her natural instincts, which does not look after the needs of others. Even then you have to rely upon God to change your attitude towards other people. Everyone has his or her own idea of what being good is and lives accordingly. There are too many people who think of themselves as being good, but being good is always determined by the opinions of other people. In other words, what may be good in your eyes may not be considered good in another person eyes. Did Jesus Christ consider himself as a good person? Being good is not quality you can brag about when man is an expert at pointing the fingers of blame.
Why did God recognize manís condition as being stubborn and stiff-necked? Being stubborn and stiff-necked is not hard to recognize when you see people refuse to yield to wisdom or a higher authority? We live in a world where even the lowliest of people think they rule the world. Your personal authority is the toughest thing that a Christian must learn to manage. Your own desires, your environment, and the goals of other people control how you rule your life. In your home you may have authority to say how things are done, but youíre still a servant of your family. Still, without exception everyone by nature is an expert of looking after his or her own needs.
The condition of being good exists when you have denied your personal needs, and are doing something to help those in need. Although, you can do good things for charity and still be doing good things with selfish motives. Being good is foreign to your sinful nature, but being good in your fatherís eyes is an act of your will. Your sinful nature expects something in return, but the Christ like nature God wants you to be busy doing good without expecting anything in return.
Before you can be good to one another you must step down from the throne you rule from and become a servant as Christ did.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45
Christians have placed themselves on a pedestal and have become better than sinners who have no hope. God does not want anyone to perish and that statement places the Christian alongside with the sinner because God wants everyone to be saved. We are Godís ambassadors, and as Godís ambassadors we serve the kingdom of God and those who want to go to heaven. Our job is to show the world the way, the truth, and the life.
Christ gave an example of this concept when he washed the feet of his disciples. In washing the feet of his disciples he demonstrated that the teacher was not above the student. In the same way the Christian is not above the sinner, for all have sinned and fallen short of Godís glory. Every man and women is in the same boat because we all have to give account to God for our actions.
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
What does it mean when you ask your children to be good? As a parent you want your childrenís behavior to be acceptable among those they encounter every day. What does it mean when God asks his children to be good? God is the father of Christians everywhere. Does it mean that God has an acceptable standard of behavior that he expects from each of his children? Does it mean that God wants better behavior than what you have previously displayed?
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Within the Ten Commandments are the specific conditions of behavior God demands of each of his children. Call them moral laws or a way to express love, but within these commandments God has revealed the way he wants you to treat him and your neighbor. Obeying these commands means that your behavior will be restricted to doing the very things you want from others. These laws serve as a guide for your life that will demonstrate respect for others by giving them dignity. These laws also require a commitment and effort on your part to be good because it is natural to look after oneís own needs first.
Moral excellence is hard to achieve but well worth the commitment of a better life. Morals demonstrate your concern over how other people feel about themselves and how your deeds affect them. Being good demands your respect for the rights of others and their right to happiness even if it means that they go their way and you go yours. This allows freedom of choice, freedom of action, and the freedom to choose your own destiny.
Being good promotes the wellbeing of other people. Meeting the needs of others means being there to help others, and giving back to a society what you have given describes what being good is all about. Having scruples, being decent and showing honor to those who may not deserve respect is the kind of work God has prepared for all Christians to do. Loving your enemies enough to pray for them and blessing those who use you for their benefit is not easy to do. Regardless of how we feel, God does not want you to return evil with evil but to overcome evil by doing good.
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
Being good is more than a display of good behavior and can be shown in the work you do for others. Excelling at your trade for employers is a trait that everyone appreciates. One reason for getting rid of employees is poor workmanship and the failure to get along with other employees. Employers want people with excellent working skills, because good skills show the effort to do things right and the desire to give the customer his money's worth. Being good at a trade keeps people coming back and standing in line for more of the same.
In the overall picture of being good demonstrates the way you want other people to act towards you. It is also sowing seed or planting good deeds, which return a crop of good things for you. It is nice to be told not to worry about the cost because you have been good to them in the past. Being good helps to develop the trust other people have in you because they know that you are not going to harm them in any way. Being good makes life more tolerable in many ways, but one thing is certain; you benefit more from being good.
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 1 Peter 3:13
The goodness of God comes in many forms and is as diverse as Godís character. Gaining the knowledge of Godís character gives you a set of basic precepts for you to imitate in your walk with Christ. You can make a distinction between the Christian and the sinner, but God wants you to love everyone regardless of their affiliation to Christ. The effort of the Christian is to take the good news to the world, not to put those in the world down for their beliefs. By taking the good news to the unbelievers donít you show the goodness of God? Though many refuse the life God wants to give, like God you must accept people the way they are and the choices they make.
Developing the goodness of God takes time, but is well worth your effort. Over your lifetime the efforts you do for your father will reap benefits beyond measure. Being effective for your father requires that you overlook the faults of others while you deal with your own. Being good builds and edifies the importance of other persons in relation to your own life. By making yourself a servant as Christ did you make the lives of other people more important than your own? God is good all the time and is willing to work with you to develop his will in your character.