Blog Space of Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D, pastor at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, Ellicott City, MD

Monday, March 9, 2020

Does it pay to be Good?


This past Sunday here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church we reflected on whether seeking to live a good life actually made any difference to ourselves or the world around us. The way of the world seems to be that prosperity has no link to morality! The sermon can be found here.

There are many who adopt an “ends justify the means” philosophy. Whether it be governmental justification of indiscretions and lies or something far more mundane, such as parking illegally because we “are just in such a rush today,” there are circumstances where people feel taking a course of action that would otherwise be unacceptable is O.K.

By way of contrast, scripture invites those who follow Jesus Christ to be above reproach. In the Kingdom manifesto we know as the sermon on the mount we are counseled; “
Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

When speaking of those who aspire to leadership in a congregation Paul places the highest standards before his young friend Timothy. “
The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity.” (1 Timothy 3:2-4)

“Do-gooders” are often regarded as hypocritical meddlers who do more harm than good. Neither Jesus or Paul suggest the way of God’s Kingdom is one of self-righteously enforcing our morality upon others. It is rather about doing the right thing whatever it may cost and however personally uncomfortable it may be.

Whether it means involving ourselves with a cause for justice and peace or simply obeying traffic laws the bottom line is that we are instructed in scripture to be shining examples of God’s love!

For some music Unspoken sing; “Keep Fighting the Good Fight.

Prayer: Lord God, You call us to be people of Kingdom standards. We know ourselves well enough to see such is only possible through the intervention of Your Holy Spirit and through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Help us this week to let our light shine so that others obtain glimpses of Your love. Amen.

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