Being Good, True (Honest), and Righteous

Scriptures : 2 Chronicles 31:20-21

“Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.” 

Like King Hezekiah, if we want God to prosper us, we must do the three most important things in our lives :

1. Serving in God’s house.

2. Obeying God’s commandments.

3. Seeking God Himself.

We may have our own lives – studying, working or doing business – but we must not forget to serve God, to do God’s work. Also, in this world where many sinful things are acceptable, we must not compromise. We must not conform to this world, but we live by God’s commandments. And the most important thing of all is we seek God Himself, not the things of this world, such as riches, pleasures, comfort or fame. In serving God, obeying God and seeking God, we must do it with all our heart.

In God’s eyes, not only what we do is important but the state or motive of our heart in doing it is also important, because we may do the right thing but with the wrong motive. People may not know it because they will only see our outward action, but God will know it because He can see our heart. The problem with doing the right thing but with the wrong motive is the right thing we do will not make a lasting impact. Like a rubber band, after we stretch it, it will return to its original shape.

What is the state of the heart that we must have so that God will prosper everything that we do? Our heart must be good toward others, true or honest with ourselves and righteous before God. Our heart cannot only be good toward others but not honest with ourselves or it cannot only be good toward others and honest with ourselves but not righteous before God. We must have all the three if we want God to prosper us in everything that we do.

When God anoints us with His Holy Spirit, we will have a good heart toward people and we will go about doing good to them, like the Lord Jesus Himself (Acts 10:38). When we do good to others, they will open their hearts to us and we can start to build relationship with them and become their friends. The Lord Jesus had friends besides disciples. Mary, Martha and Lazarus became Jesus’ friends because He did good things to them.

When God puts His Holy Spirit in us, our conscience will bear witness every time we are true or honest with ourselves, like what the apostle Paul experienced (Rom 9:1). When we are not honest, we lie to ourselves and our conscience will condemn us. We will feel guilty in our heart. Therefore, we should strive to have no offence in our conscience. If we keep ignoring the testimony of our conscience, we are actually injuring our heart and we are committing self-destruction. In the end we will destroy our own lives, even to the point that we can commit suicide like Judas Iscariot.

Being good to people and being true or honest with ourselves are needed if we want to be prosperous, but they will not make us accepted by God. Why? Because the basis of our acceptance by God is not goodness nor honesty. People will accept us if we are good to them and we will be able to accept ourselves if we are honest with ourselves, but God will only accept us if we are righteous before Him. We can be very good to people and be very honest with ourselves, but as long as we do not have righteousness in our lives, we will still be disconnected from God.

To be accepted by God we must be righteous in His eyes. But the problem is we cannot be righteous before God ourselves. We are already sold under sin. Therefore, to be righteous before God we must receive the righteousness of God. How? The righteousness of God is only in Christ and the only way we can receive this righteousness is by faith. So, we must believe so that we are accounted righteous before God (Gal 3:11). We become righteous in the eyes of God, not because we live righteously but because we believe in Christ who has made us righteous by His blood.

✨ Vietnamese brothers and sisters

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