For Your Own Good

Honestly, as I think back over those first years (decades?) of being born again, I wonder how much I thought obedience was just the “price” I had to pay for heaven? That it was the “quid” expectation of my life here and now for the “pro quo” of God’s gift of eternity. Maybe not the best view of obedience to have.

Over time, the “obligation” of obedience morphed into the “response” of obedience. I obeyed not just because I had to but obeyed because I wanted to. After all, Jesus gave His life for me, shouldn’t I, in return, give my life to Him? Yes. For sure? For all that Jesus did for me, it was the least I could do for Him, right? For how much He loved me, my obedience was a small token expressing the love I had for Him. A better approach to obedience, I think.

But something I read in Deuteronomy this morning makes me think there might be an even better and sustaining motive for wanting to walk in God’s ways.

Keep the Lord’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good.

(Deuteronomy 10:13 CSB)

How’s that for a reason to obey? For your own good.

Obedience is then the out-working of believing that, having been designed and wired by the Creator, the Creator knows how to “optimize” that design and wiring for living life. That because He made us He understands us — better than we understand ourselves — and knows the walk that will allow us to “have life and have it in abundance” (Jn. 10:10).

Okay, maybe you’re thinking, “That’s sounds like a somewhat selfish reason for obedience. For my good? For my quality and fullness of life? Shouldn’t we obey for God’s glory?”

Yup, we should. But what if for our good and for God’s glory aren’t mutually exclusive? What if it’s not an either / or proposition? What if for our good is integrally and intrinsically connected with for God’s glory? What if “life in abundance” makes known the God who loves in abundance and graces in abundance?

I was also reminded in Deuteronomy this morning that Moses prayed repeatedly for God’s mercy toward His rebellious people, arguing that to “destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven” (Dt. 9:14) would discredit the name of the God who had delivered Israel from Egypt, “lest the land from which you brought us say, ‘ . . . the LORD was not able to bring them into the land that He promised them'” (Dt. 9:28). Entering the promised land and prospering as a people of promise would magnify the power of the God of promise to save, and to save to the uttermost. Their good would ultimately be for God’s glory.

So, we should seek to walk in obedience.

For our own good.

And that, for God’s glory.

And only by God’s grace.


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2 Responses to For Your Own Good

  1. brent94380af445 says:

    Yes, to all the above. I just never put it into those explanatory reasons to follow Him, but now that you have….Yup, that’s why. Thanks

  2. Michael says:


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