Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Good for What? - Martin Wiles

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? Psalm 73:13 NLT

I was a goody-two-shoes, but for what?

John Newbery published the story, “Goody Two-Shoes,” in London in 1765 and popularized the phrase. The story tells about an orphan girl nicknamed Goody Two-Shoes who goes through life with one pair of shoes until a rich gentleman gives her a complete pair. She’s so happy she tells everyone about her good fortune. The phrase refers to someone who is particularly good, but is used in a derogatory manner—as in my case.

During my trek through elementary and middle school, I exemplified a goody-two-shoes. I couldn’t help it. My parents reared me in a Christian home and indoctrinated me with the teachings of the Bible and punished me if I didn’t live up to their—and God’s—dictates.

In elementary school, everyone appeared to be a goody-two-shoes, so being one didn’t take much effort. Middle school differed. Suddenly, many of my good friends turned bad—and wanted me to turn bad with them. They cussed, and wanted me to. They talked about pornographic matters—and thought I should too. And some didn’t want to do their homework or study for tests—and thought I should let them copy mine. My refusal brought on bullying and threats of bodily injury.

By high school, I, like the psalmist, wondered if I’d been a goody-two-shoes for nothing. The psalmist looked at the wicked, who seemed to prosper despite their wicked behavior. He, on the other hand, who had lived righteously, experienced trouble and pain. I did what the psalmist didn’t do: became bad with the bad.

I later discovered that being a goody-two-shoes was the right way to live. I may not be rewarded in this life by God or others, but that doesn’t negate that I’ve done the right thing. Such as Job. A righteous man who suffered pitifully.

God, however, takes note of my good living. He expects it, and it’s the right thing to do. He often rewards good behavior on earth, but even if He doesn’t, He does in heaven. I don’t get there because I’m good, but God rewards me there for being good. And I’ll never regret making the good choices.
Go ahead and be a goody-two-shoes. 

Others may not always appreciate your goodness, but God loves it—and His opinion is the only one that really counts.

Prayer: Father, give us the strength to stave off the temptations to be bad, knowing that You want us to be holy, even as You are.

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