Goodness: compulsion or free will

Meditation Thought: “I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own free will. (Philippians 1:14)

Prayer: My Lord, I ask that I be able to see in Truth, that I might use wisdom and knowledge as my aids, but enable me to forego judgment and to be steeped in love so that I may be both obedient and effective in becoming Your  image. Amen.

The difference between compulsion and freedom of will actions is the contrast of night and day – the one really has little connection with the other in appearance or in the manner which actions are taken.

All of society is forced to adjust every area of life when darkness falls, even with artificial light being available.

In light – daylight which reveals all – there is great freedom of movement, no restraints. There is a perception that reveals the truth of what is going on.

So it is with goodness motivated by free will: there is an openness, kindness, gentleness, an aura of sweetness that is appealing.

Goodness motivated by compulsion is really not goodness, but obedience. Obedience is necessary – but it is not the same as goodness: goodness is like the bonus on the paycheck of obedience. It’s something extra – an unexpected delight and therefore very special.

Perhaps goodness is not an ‘unexpected delight’ in christian circles – in fact, there it should be as binding as is obedience by compulsion; it should be one of the visible differences between the heart motivated by the Spirit and the heart motivated by self. It should be one of the most effective witnesses to the reality of Christ living in the heart, of Christ working in the world.

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