Psalm 112 encourages believers to pursue honesty and fairness in everyday life. All throughout the prayer the psalmist counts the manifold blessings of a gracious, compassionate and generous child of God (Psalm 112:2-3):
“Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.”
Good things will happen to the upright – but not to the uptight. Make no mistake about it: trying to be good for goodness sake makes people miserable. “Be a good girl! Be a good boy!”– Or so we hear growing up; and a popular holiday tune puts it like this:
“He sees you when you’re sleeping
And he knows when you’re awake
And he knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!”*
(*Composers of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”: Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots)
There is not a whole lot of good God can do for us when we really don’t trust in Him. On the other hand God’s Spirit will rub off on us when we start listening to Him. Goodness comes from the inside out. Moralistic behavior however is messed up in that it tries to achieve goodness from the outside in. Fake goodness never works and is not really good. It is the type of “goodness” that stinks. Sweet goodness we find in God alone.
We need to believe Jesus when He says (Mark 10:18):
“No one is good – except God alone.”
Incidentally, the word “good” in the English language is actually rooted in the word “God”. God is good; goodness is God; and when we connect with Him we will be part of His goodness and spread it around wherever we are.
It will be good for us to recognize that God loves us dearly. And when we love Him back, this is how God’s goodness comes to full fruition.