Pursuing ‘good character’ so we can get along better in life is a good thing. Pursuing ‘good character’ to please God is nobler than the pursuit of it for earthly rewards.
But pursuing good character because it’s something to be desired in itself is the best. (12 steps and 12 traditions PG 72)
Good character comes easy for me when things are going my way; when I’ve had proper sleep and been well fed. It’s more difficult when things aren’t going as I planned; or I’m hungry, tired and stressed.
Even more difficult is when my efforts at pursuing goodness are not rewarded, or they’re met with malice. It is then that I have to examine my motives and realize that my ‘pursuit of goodness’ had linked to it an expectation.
Matthew 5:45 tells us that God …. “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
When the payoff of goodness is the ultimate goal we will often be disappointed. When goodness itself is the ultimate goal I believe the ‘payoffs’ will come naturally as we experience Gods peace with no strings attached.
It’s getting to that place that’s the hard part.
- Do I sometimes try to be a person of good character because it makes me look good?
- Do I sometimes feel resentful when I don’t get recognized or rewarded for being ‘good?’