On Sunday we looked at the issue of why.
Why does morality matter? Why should you and I be concerned about becoming wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil (Romans 16:19)?
1 || FIRST, and foremost, God is good and God is concerned about what is good and bad.
God is concerned about your goodness. You were made for goodness. Along the way, we all lost some (a lot) of our original goodness. Life got very hard for us. God, through Jesus, is restoring goodness back to his world and to the people he loves.
- When goodness abounds, people flourish.
- You can go back and listen to week 1 of our character series where I spent some time unpacking this.
2|| SECOND, there are always consequences for our choices on good and evil.
The big text on this is Galatians 6:7-10. Read it in Eugene Peterson’s The Message.
- You can ignore reality and, for a time, you will get away with ignoring reality. Eventually, you will not be able to ignore the results of ignoring reality. It’s like ignoring that blotch of skin cancer. Right now it’s just basal cancer, but ignore it and it can become squamous, and that is a more serious issue.
- We think we can get away with ignoring reality. We think we won’t have to deal with the consequences of bad decisions, but we do. There are always consequences.
- Now, this basic idea is applied in increasing ways.
3|| THIRD, it is good for YOU when you are good and it is bad for YOU when you are bad.
It is that simple. You personally reap the good things from good choices and you personally get the bad things that come from bad choices.
- When you eat healthy foods, generally, your body is healthier, your weight is manageable, you do your arteries and heart a favor—you know the routine. Or, if you overconsume alcohol and keep overconsuming, you run the risk of all kinds of health problems, and the real possibility of addiction.
- While we think this would be common sense, sometimes it seems as if common sense is not so common any more. We all have some stories of when common sense eluded us, we made the dumb choice, and we suffered because of it.
4|| FOURTH, it is good for OTHERS when you are good and it is bad for OTHERS when you are bad.
We are all connected. The closer and more important someone is to you, the more of an impact they have from your choices for goodness or badness.
- If you have a gambling problem, those close to you will have the repercussions. If you develop and live by a budget, monitor your spending, and avoid credit card debt, everyone around you will be better off because all of you are freer from the stresses of money.
- This is seen most powerfully in the family system. Families are so connected that what one person does affects everyone else.
5|| FIFTH, if you are in a leadership role, you have a great capacity to influence others for good and for bad.
The higher your leadership role, the more your choices have an impact on others.
- The Major League Baseball cheating scandal is simply the latest example of leaders (general managers, managers, and who knows, probably the owners) creating a bad situation for everyone.
- Bad leadership makes life miserable for churches, for teams, for companies, and even for states and nations. Good leadership helps organizations and all the people who depend on them. Bad leadership hurts organizations and all the people who depend on them. Over the past 15 years we have seen train wrecks in organizations of all sizes due to bad leadership.
6|| FINALLY, society as a whole is experiencing the consequences of bad behavior everywhere.
I didn’t get to this point of my message. While we see it in a lot of ways, here are two of them:
- Trust levels are in decline in average interactions. We trust each other less and less. And we trust those in leadership least of all.
- Then, because we no longer trust each other, we are less civil and kind toward one another. We are angrier than ever with others.
Those are six reasons why morality matters. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, we will be uneven as we move ahead. But goodness is always worth it and badness never is (even if you think it is, it isn’t). In the words of The Message, “Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God.” Don’t be in doubt, you aren’t going to fool God. Nor are you going to escape the results of reality.
God wants you to flourish and goodness is the way.
Wanting the very best for all of you,