Good Outside or In?
Is Daniel a good boy like Aunt Irma thinks he is? It seems to me that he has some serious heart problems. What shall we call them? The disease of disobedience? In the story we can see what Daniel is really like inside, and he surely has a bad attitude. The Bible says that it is our heart that needs to be good, not the outside of us. We can act very polite and kind on the outside, but if our heart is angry and disobedient, we are not good at all. We have a heart problem and we need Jesus to change us.
God knows the thoughts we think and the things we do, when no one else does. He sees when we do wrong, and when we do right, and when we are just pretending to be good. The Lord wants us to have good hearts, inside where it counts. Jesus says the first commandment is to love God with all our heart. Can we do that if our heart is bad? We need pure, good hearts to see God and go to heaven. Pretending to be good will not fool God. But God is good and loves us, so He talks to our hearts and shows us that we are wrong, and that we need Him. We can not be truly good without God.
Was Jesus good? Or did He just pretend to be good and fool people? No, Jesus’ heart was pure and good because He did nothing wrong. If we did nothing wrong, our hearts would be good, too. But sin makes our hearts bad, so Jesus came to deliver us from sin and make our hearts clean. Jesus did everything right because He loved and obeyed God. He asked God to help Him be good all the time. Do you want to be like Jesus?
We can’t be good from just trying. That is like washing the outside of a dirty cup. If people don’t look inside, they might think it looks clean. But would you want to drink out of it? We can put on our best behavior and smile and say “thank you,” but we can’t reach down into our hearts and fix the naughty thoughts and selfishness we have. Jesus has to do that. And Jesus is able to do that because He loves you and paid the price for you to have a heart-surgery. Do you want to be cured of your heart disease? Do you want to have God’s goodness?