What does being a Good Girl mean to you? Does it mean always doing the right thing, while gritting your teeth and pushing away the urge to do what you really want to do? Or does it mean doing the right thing because that’s truly your desire?
What’s the difference?
Is there one?
I think so.
I think being a Good Girl means ultimately means being a God Girl. And that means being more caught up in the heart and the motive behind our actions than in the actions themselves. That’s how God sees it.
Think about it. It’s hard enough to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. But it’s really hard to do the right thing for the right reasons.
In the choices you make, where is your heart? Are your motives pure? Or are you sucking it up and getting it done because you have to? Because you think you don’t have a choice or because you’re looking to please man instead of God?
God knows our hearts. “For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)
It’s sort of like when we stub our toe or get a paper-cut and say “fishsticks” instead of what we really want to say. Is that substitution really any better? Is our heart any cleaner when venting that particular frustration than if we had said the literal curse word?
In my YA novel “Addison Blakely, Confessions of a PK” (preacher’s kid) Addison has to come to terms with her faith. She has to decide once and for all why she believes what she believes, and why she is the type of girl she is. Is she “a good girl” simply to please her preacher-dad? Is she good to please her late mother? Is she good to please the meddling members of her church? Or is she good to please God? And how can she tell the difference?
I think all Good Girls go through that questioning process at some point in their lives, and you know what? You SHOULD. Because if you’re just going through the motions, and doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, you’re missing the entire point—and you’re missing the blessings God is so eager to rain down on you.
The next time you make a hard decision—whether or not you will drink at that party, or try that popular drug, or take that cigarette from a friend, or say that curse word, or cheat on that test, or gossip about that new girl, or lie to your parents, or go out with that guy or let this other guy push physical boundaries with you on a date—think about not only your choice, but the reason behind your choice. Who are you trying to please? And why? What are you choosing, and why?
These are hard questions, but very important ones—because being a Good Girl without God is even more of a waste than being a Bad Girl.
And a lot more dangerous—because being good to please man instead of God will end in weariness. You’ll be tempted to dive into the other end of the pool and quit being good completely. You’ll think “why even bother?” or “I can’t measure up, so why even try?” That’s the eventual, inevitable thought process that comes from being good for the wrong reasons. And it will tear you down.
I’m raising a daughter who will turn 4 this summer. I’m grateful when she obeys me. But I love when she obeys cheerfully even more. I’m proud of her when she shares with a friend after I told her to—but I’m extra proud when she shares on her own, without having to be prompted. See the difference? It’s the same difference between someone offering us a hug, and us asking someone to give us a hug. It just means more.
Unlike humans, God’s love doesn’t falter or fail. He can’t love us anymore than He does now. But how much better does it feel inside when we do the right thing out of our hearts, instead of just out of our heads? The end result is so much more eternal. When our hearts are pure and our motivations are in line, we end up blessing not just the other person, but we end up receiving a blessing ourselves as well.
And hey, that’s pretty good, huh? J