Stu said: "It is by definition a greater good, that doesn't seek instruction or command or hollow promises of reward." In theory that sounds good. But in practicality, because of the influence of sin over us all, we don’t often do the good that Jesus commanded in those verses posted above. Having a loving relationship with One who only does good and only wants to helps us recognize what is good and do it, is superior to trying to do good all on my own. Sure, if I was a completely good person, then I would do those things that Jesus commanded without having to give it a second thought. But I am not a 100% purely good person. I struggle just as everyone else does, with a tendency and desire to think and do things that aren’t good. To become angry with hatred at injustices. Anger at injustice IS good, but hatred for the person is NOT good. Those verses command us to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us. I have to work hard in my mind to be able to do that. I sometimes fail here, but because I LIKE doing what Jesus wants me to do, I take these verses and think about them when I am struggling with the behavior of someone who is truly being cruel. Doesn’t mean I will do things to allow him/her to continue in cruelty. It is never good to passively allow someone to behave cruelly when it is within my power to intervene (depending on the circumstance). Just trying to say that loving and blessing a difficult person is not the same as allowing abuse to continue, it would be wrong to allow an abuser to continue, if it's within my ability to stop it. You said: "It is by definition a greater good, that doesn't seek instruction or command or hollow promises of reward." So now I'm curious, since you are all on your own here, without looking to Jesus for guidance and help, can you honestly say that of your own sense of wanting a greater good, that without any instruction you ALWAYS have chosen the greater good to do these things that Jesus commanded in Matthew 5? 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?