Be Good For Goodness' Sake
In the holiday song, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” there is a line that says, “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake.” The implication is that if we are not good, Santa will know it and may not come to our house.
Yet, when one really thinks about it, shouldn’t we always be good for “goodness’ sake?” Should we be good just when someone is watching or just when Santa Claus is coming to town? Shouldn’t we always be good for goodness’ sake because it is always right to be good whether anyone knows about it or not? And, besides, doesn’t God already know our thoughts even before we form them – Psa. 139:1-2? Isn’t it always right to do right and always wrong to do wrong regardless of who may know about it?
When God asked Satan to consider His servant, Job, Satan answered: “Does Job fear God for nothing?” – Job 1:9 If God had answered directly, the answer would have been yes! God had blessed Job with seven sons and three daughters. He had blessed him with 7,000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys (11,000 head) – Job 1:2-3.
So God allowed Satan to test Job and placed all Job’s blessings under his power, but not to touch him – Job 1:12. As the result, Job lost all that God had given him. Yet, in all of this, Job neither sinned with his lips nor blamed God. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job passed the test and Satan lost! Job was righteous for righteousness sake and good for goodness’ sake and not just because God had blessed him so!
Satan went back and challenged God again. He said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. However, put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse you to your face – Job 2:4-5. So the Lord said to Satan, “he is in you power, only spare his life” – 2:6. Then Satan struck Job all over with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Job’s wife lost her faith, and Job sat in the city dump among the ashes and scraped his sores with a fragment of a broken vessel, but he did not blame God of sin with his lips – 2:7, 9-10.
Remember, it is God, not Santa Claus, who sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake, and knows when you’ve been bad or good. We are warned that if we know to do good and do it not, to us it is sin – James 4:17. We must always remember that the faithful Christian does what he does because it is the right thing to do and not because of any reward he may receive when he does it or any punishment due him if refuses to do it.
Christians love the truth and walk in the truth for the truth’s sake – 2 John 2-3; 3 John 4. He buys the truth when he sees its value and refuses to sell it at any price – Prov. 23:23. Jesus said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: Thy word is truth” – Jn. 17:17. A disciple continues in the word of Christ, becomes a disciple indeed, knows the truth and is made free from sin – John 8:31-32.
So we ask ourselves the questions: (1) Do we really love the truth for the truth’s sake? (2) Do we really do what is right because it is right no matter what may be the consequences? (3) Are we really good for goodness’ sake or do we have some ulterior motive(s)?
Let us always strive to do what is right and be good for goodness’ sake and not for any other reason.