Sometimes we say to people, half in jest, ‘Try to be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful!’ The idea being that if you decide not to be good, make sure you’re clever enough not to get caught. But in reality, our lack of goodness is no laughing matter.
In the words of Robert Fitch: ‘Ours is an age where ethics has become obsolete. Morality is superseded by science, deleted by philosophy, and dismissed as emotive by psychology. It drowns in compassion, evaporates in aesthetics, and retreats before relativism. The usual moral distinctions between good and bad are simply bathed in a maudlin emotion in which we feel more sympathy for the murderer than the murdered, for the adulterer than for the betrayed, and in which we have actually begun to believe that the real guilty party—the one who somehow caused it all—is the victim and not the perpetrator of the crime.’
Those are sobering thoughts. Things that were once considered black or white are now categorised as grey. Goodness that used to meet a universal standard is now a matter of personal interpretation and preference. And an epidemic of public officials whose private conduct leaves us shocked hasn’t made things any better.
Right about now you may be thinking, ‘I read this devotional every day to get something that will help me feel good, and today isn’t doing it.’ That’s the whole point! In order to feel good, the Bible says you must practise doing good and being good, which makes you a ‘pleasure’ to God.