Why Live For God’s Highest Good?

There are some people who consider it downright selfish of God to require the creatures He made to choose Him supremely and to focus their attention on who He is and what He is doing. This, however, is far from being the case. The Bible says that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). What this means is that God’s moral character is absolutely perfect, that He is presently living up to all that His intelligence tells Him He should be doing. This is why He can be called a holy Being. God is not holy because He is holy. He is holy because He chooses to use all His attributes in a loving (agape) way. Holiness involves choice and enlightenment.

We choose the things we do in life on the basis of their value. We would not, for example, find many housewives shop- ping for cooking utensils in the children’s toy department, even if the price tags on little girls’ cooking sets matched those in the housewares section. Again, if a wealthy friend took you to the nearest sewing machine retailer with an insistent offer to foot the bill on whatever machine you liked, the chances are that you would not browse around the $50 used models. Now, in these cases, it is the value factor that obligates a choice of merchandise in keeping with the light or understanding you have on that matter.

As God lovingly and wisely surveys His created universe, He is acutely aware that in order to will our highest good He must will His own highest good. The happiness of all creation hangs dependent upon His well-being. God recognizes the in- trinsic value of His own being as the ultimate value in the entire universe. As a result, He unselfishly requires us to choose Him supremely for our own well-being. If, as God surveyed the uni- verse, He was able to discover something more valuable than Himself, He would, acting in wisdom, require us to choose that end instead.

When an object is perceived or understood by the mind to be intrinsically valuable (valuable in and of itself), we cannot help but choose or refuse it. In other words, if we choose any object other than that which we have come to understand as possessing intrinsic value, we are making a deficient choice. A knowingly deficient choice the Bible calls sin.