You Be Good!
by Dr. Craig von Buseck
“Remind them to be . . . obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” (Titus 3:1-2, ESV)
Harry Truman’s mother, Martha Truman, was 92-years-old when FDR died suddenly, making her son President of the United States. After learning of Roosevelt’s death and being hastily sworn in, Truman called his mother that night to tell her the news—which she had already heard on the radio. As the conversation concluded, Martha Truman said, “You be good there in Washington, D.C., Harry.” As she had admonished her son for 60 years, she was telling the President of the United States to “be a good boy.”
In 1885, Ulysses S. Grant was dying of throat cancer after a lifetime of smoking cigars. One night when he was particularly restless, his physician Dr. Shrady said compassionately, “Pretend you are a boy and it is time to go to bed.” The former president and general in chief turned to his side and curled up in his blanket. Tucking him into his blanket and fluffing his pillow, Dr. Shrady said, “Now, go to sleep like a good boy.” Soon Grant was fast asleep.
In nearly all of Paul’s New Testament letters, we see lists of suggestions—and sometimes commandments for righteous living—the practical ways to “be good” in this life.
While these do not give us the pathway to salvation, they do provide us with the means to pleasing God and maintaining a good relationship with Him; the means of receiving His blessing; the way to live in peace and joy in the midst of this fallen world; and the method to “let our light shine before men.”
The world would be a much better place if more people followed the biblical injunction to “be good”—for God’s sake!
Dr. Craig von Buseck is the author of I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel. His next book, Grant’s Triumph, about the dramatic and inspiring last years of General Ulysses S. Grant, will be released soon. Learn more at vonbuseck.com.