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Explore the complex question of why we should do what is right. From biblical teachings to personal faith and love, discover the intrinsic motivations behind proper conduct. Understand how the pursuit of righteousness transcends personal gain and becomes a reflection of God’s love. A compelling read for anyone seeking spiritual guidance on living a virtuous life.
How often have you heard the question, “What’s in it for me?” before someone agrees to do something? It seems common for people, including children, to seek a reward before committing to an action or displaying proper behavior.
According to the Bible, the root cause of this problem is sin, which leads to a natural tendency towards wrongdoing. As Romans 3:23 states, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This inherent inclination makes doing what’s right a substantial effort.
This attitude can also influence how people worship God. While God desires his followers to act rightly, guided by the Holy Bible, there is a risk of misunderstanding these acts as a way to gain His favor. This was evident with the ancient Jews, who viewed obedience to the Mosaic law as a method of earning merit with God. However, such a belief is flawed, as everlasting life cannot be obtained merely by performing good deeds.
Though Christians are not governed by Mosaic law, the Bible encourages them to lead holy and godly lives, engaging in activities that reflect their faith. But the motivation behind these actions should not be to earn God’s favor but to have firm faith in Christ and to imitate Him.
Jesus himself provided guidance on how to conduct oneself, including loving one’s enemies and being generous to others. The true motive behind such actions, as Jesus explained, should be to “prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:45).
One of the greatest inspirations for this conduct comes from recognizing what God has already done for humanity, including sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, to redeem mankind from sin and death. Such sacrifice creates the opportunity for eternal life, not as a reward but as a divine gift.
Faith in this incredible gift should manifest itself in both public declaration and good Christian conduct. As the Bible writer James explains, faith without works is dead, and works are not actions done to earn something in the future, but actions performed out of gratitude for what is already possessed.
In conclusion, the motivation for serving God and doing what is right should not be selfish gain. Instead, it should be a response to God’s love and generosity, striving to imitate His kindness. As 1 John 4:9-11 states, we should love one another because God loved us first. This profound understanding of love is the true motivation for doing what is right, recognizing and appreciating God’s gifts rather than seeking personal rewards.