What is your definition of “being good”? What would you say if asked that question? Many years ago, a great Jewish prophet gave the answer. He wrote, “God has shown you what is good: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Let’s look at those more specifically:
To act justly. We need to be honest and fair with every person and seek to bring justice to those who are mistreated or taken advantage of. To “act justly” has nothing to do with doling out what we think is just punishment. To act justly means just that – we ACT in ways that are just, fair, and appropriate to each person we meet.
To love mercy. We all mess up, and when we do, we certainly appreciate someone who is compassionate and forgiving, someone who shows us grace. Forgiveness does not mean consequences are removed. And there is no biblical support of “forgive and forget” (in fact, the scriptures clearly say that the only one who is able to “forget” our sinfulness is God). However, forgiveness does not seek revenge. Forgiveness decides to not let someone’s action or words against us determine our response or control our lives. Compassion is an attitude of the heart.
To walk humbly with your God. When a person has no fear of God, that person makes him-/herself God and will rationalize all kinds of evil. But to live in a way that pleases God, Who is seen perfectly in Jesus, is a good way to live.
To act justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with your God – that is the answer to what is good.