Something I've been thinking about lately (actually for a few months now) is how some people who don't know God can be so very loving and life-giving. I'm reading through Matthew right now (possibly my favorite book in the Bible... Definitely the one I read the most...) and I came across a verse in chapter 5 that says, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." My problem with this concept of Christians loving others and through that people seeing the love of God, is that many non-christians and strong atheists live amazing lives, sacrificing of themselves for a better world. Why do they do it? Is it truly my love for God that drives me to do the good that I do, or would I still do those things if I didn't believe in God, because that's just in my nature?
I do believe that we are inherently not good people. We have the tug to do wrong, to sin, to hurt others, to curse God. But what is it in non-Christians that pulls them to do good? Why are there so may in the Peace Corps, in Teach for America, in food banks, heading up amazing and good organizations and causes for the betterment of the world? It's true that there are plenty of Christians in these organizations. I'm not arguing that Christians are not very present in the movement to better the world and bring the kingdom, but I just want to focus a bit on the motivation of others in their pursuit of a better world.
Could it be that God can use people who do not believe in him, to bring in his kingdom? But what about when God does not get praise for that work ("..that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father..")? Is it that while those good deeds are good right now, they're not good for reward in the next life (a whole other concept that I won't get into right now but that has puzzled me forever)?
Why do people who don't love God do good things, if all we are without God is depraved, purely sinful, bad, people? I reject the idea that they do good for bad, perverse motives. Many do it because they just love people. But I thought all love comes from God....?
What's up with that?
I have no idea.
So talk to me. What do you think?