EDI­TOR’S IN­TRO­DUC­TION good—or up­right ?

Activated - - NEWS -

I re­cently came across an in­ter­est­ing verse that fits with this is­sue’s main theme of good­ness. I had read it be­fore, but this time it made more of an im­pres­sion on me.

In his let­ter to the Ro­mans, Paul says, “Now, most peo­ple would not be will­ing to die for an up­right per­son, though some­one might per­haps be will­ing to die for a per­son who is es­pe­cially good.” 1 The New King James Ver­sion uses “right­eous” in­stead of “up­right.”

That got me think­ing. What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween an up­right or right­eous per­son and a good one? The­olo­gian John Gill sug­gests Paul meant that the for­mer is some­one who is out­wardly moral and keeps to the let­ter of the law, whereas a good per­son goes be­yond their duty.2 I think the se­cret is sim­ply that good­ness is right­eous­ness mixed with gen­uine con­cern for oth­ers. With­out God’s love to mo­ti­vate us, we can’t be good, but with it, we’re able to go be­yond sim­ply do­ing the right thing, and make a more last­ing dif­fer­ence.

Of course, Je­sus is the only one who is fully good, but He ex­pects us to try to im­i­tate Him in our lives and ac­tions. He said, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.”3 If we fill our­selves with His good­ness and His love, we will be able to pass that on to oth­ers as well, to do good to all, when­ever we have the op­por­tu­nity.4 Sa­muel Keat­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Edi­tor

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