The phrase “Goody Two Shoes” goes back a long time. In fact the book that made the phrase popular was written in 1765 and the phrase appears in other writings a century before that. It was meant to describe someone who was “an excessively virtuous person”.
While the actual phrase may only be 4-5 centuries old, the concept of being a good and virtuous person is of course much older. In the Old Testament, the concept of being a virtuous person is what it would take to be in good standing with the Lord. It’s a theme that is throughout the Bible but Isaiah captures it well here in chapter 33:15-16.
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,
he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.
However, once Jesus arrives on the scene, He explains that it is actually impossible for us to ever be good enough to earn Heaven. Our goodness or virtuousness will never be enough to wash away our sins. Only His blood can do that. He died for that purpose alone. Having a right standing with God is no longer about our goodness. Paul clarified in Romans 10:9, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
So if our salvation is all about our belief and acceptance in the Lord, why be good? This is an excellent question and one that many doubters of Christ bring up often. If my sins are forgiven, even my future sins, why not just go on sinning?
There are actually two overlapping answers to this questions.
- If you truly have accepted Christ as your Lord and savior, why would you WANT to keep on sinning? There is no question you will continue to be tempted and will sometimes fail those temptations. Therefore there is no doubt you would end up sinning. However there is no way you can actually accept the fact that Christ died for your sins, and He is the only way to God… and then make a conscious choice to purposefully sin.
- The other side of that same coin is this. If you have accepted the incredible love that Christ displayed on that cross, why would you not try everything in your power to please Him? Why would you not try everything in your power to show that same love to others, so that they might also feel the love of Christ?
There is a reason that Paul states TWO requirements. One is to confess with your mouth and the other is to believe in your heart. Anyone can confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, but if they don’t actually believe in their heart that God raised Him from the grave they are not saved. However if they do believe that in their heart, then another one of Jesus’s statements will also be true.
Jesus gave us a New Commandment, one that if lived out, would actually cause you to follow all of the ten commandments. He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)