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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Why Do We Do Good?



During this COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been humbled by all the selfless acts I see of people who work in healthcare, food service—either restaurants or grocery stores, US mail, all delivery personnel, etc. and I know this list isn’t complete. Countless individuals risk their personal safety so we can keep ours. Thank you! And thank you to those amazing volunteers who use their creative skills to help others. Some sew masks, give balcony concerts, send encouraging or prayer-filled notes and texts, or hand out/deliver food and groceries to the needy. Others pray without ceasing.[1] I’m blown away by the good works, and it causes me to glorify my Father in heaven[2].

But it also causes me to ask why? Why do we do good? And why do times of crisis bring out the “good” in humanity?

Some might say this is what we’re taught and what we pass on to the next generation. True. We teach our children to do good, to share, to wait their turn, and to be kind to others. We discipline when they hit or bite, and when they are cruel, we say, “No, no. We don’t act that way in this house.”

With that in mind, here’s another question. Do animal parents correct wrong behavior in their young?

Now you might be saying, “This is completely unrelated to our subject.” But if you stick with me, I’ll show you how right on topic it is.

My mother loves birds, and while she has been convalescing, she and I have been online eagle watching. Up until the end of March, we watched the eagles in Hanover, Pennsylvania. However, their egg was not viable and the eagles abandoned their nest. My sister, Amy, searched for another and found one in Ashtabula, Ohio – AACS Eagles.[3] The parents, Pride, and Joy hatched two eaglets this year, Raindrop and Nestor. It’s impressive to see how gentle the parents feed their young. Still, as attentive as they are, not once have I seen the eagles correct their offspring for misbehavior. In fact, Raindrop, the older eaglet, pecks and bonks the younger when it doesn’t like what Nestor is doing or if it thinks its food is threatened. And although the mother is right there, she never says, “No, no. We don’t act that way in this nest.” Lol

Case in point:  Amy, in her search for live eagle cams, witnessed an eaglet’s murder. The one eaglet literally pecked the other to death while the parent looked on. No intervening discipline – no time outs – no scolding – no stopping the aggressive hatchling from killing the sibling. Why?

Animals, birds, and sea creatures work on God-programmed instinct. They have no understanding of right or wrong behavior, no standard of morality to live up to. And they, along with all creation, groan and labor with birth pangs together until now.[4]

According to the websites I visited, animal parents will do what humans consider discipline only if the youngster’s actions affect the parent personally.[5] Nevertheless, we have to question the motive of so-called discipline. Is it because they are trying to teach their “child” to be good and kind, or is it merely selfish behavior on the parent’s part? The websites confirm the latter.

If humans are descended from apes as evolutionists theorize, why do we discipline our young when their bad behavior does not personally affect us? What caused this morality to develop if survival of the fittest is true? And why will humans do good and risk their own safety to help or rescue someone in need?

Without a Creator—a Good[6] and Just[7] God—who has created man in His image,[8] we wouldn’t. It is He who has given mankind the desire for morality, the ability to do good and noble work, and to sacrifice for others,[9] even when they deny the God who made them,[10] and reject the Gift of Jesus who would wash them clean of all unrighteousness.[11]

So, in this time of unknowns, let’s remember God has shown us what is good and what He requires—to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. And don’t forget to do good and share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.[12]



[1] I Thessalonians 5:17
[2] Matthew 5:16
[4] Romans 8:22
[6] Matthew 19:17
[7] Romans 3:36
[8] Genesis 1:26-28
[9] John 15:13; Romans 5:7
[10] Matthew 10:33
[11] Romans 6:23; I John 1:9
[12] Micah 6:8; Hebrews 13:16

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