Truthfulness, Goodness and Beauty

Why do fallen, unsaved human beings still exhibit truthfulness, goodness and beauty?

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Many times people wonder, how can bad people do good things? I mean, we find people all the time that are not Christians, they are not followers of Christ, but they do good, noble things. They provide good noble services. They even come up with good creative acts and discoveries. And people say, well how does that happen? And really the answer is quite simple. Even fallen people, even lost people are image bearers of God. Genesis 1 teaches us that all men and women bear the image of God, and so because they bear God's image they have within them reasoning powers, they have at least the possibility for spirituality, they have the ability for creativity. God gave us the responsibility to oversee as his co-regents or vice-regents this world, so I'm actually not surprised when lost people occasionally do good things because they bear God's image, and as a result of that, they have a capacity to do many, many wonderful things. The tragedy is, even in their good doings they're doing them many times, in fact, almost always, for wrong motivations. That's one of the reasons why we who are redeemed and regenerated need to be reminded that not only is it important that we do the right things but that we do the right things for the right reasons. God is concerned about the motives behind our actions, and many times with lost people you'll see really good actions but not necessarily the motives that will bring honor to God and glorify God, which of course is ultimately what all of our activity should be about.

Answer by Dr. Danny Akin

Dr. Danny Akin is the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been serving in the role since 2004. Known as an advocate for international missions and expository preaching, he also has a reputation as a faithful husband and father and genuine man of God. Akin and his wife Charlotte have four sons, four daughters-in-law, and 14 grandchildren.