Rewarding the good incentivizes and elevates good behavior. Government’s role is not only to discourage and punish bad behavior, but also encourage and commend the good.
Yet punishment is still necessary: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them” (Proverbs 13:24). Punishment is a form of discipline. God disciplines those He loves. Discipline teaches us a lesson and guides us to the correct path: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11). True justice will always include discipline.
These two actions should be complementary. By looking at public policy we should be able to see, in a broad sense, how laws do one or both of these. For example, laws that establish a speed limit do so for the good of the public by protecting citizens from the risks associated from reckless driving. Encouraging good driving is a benefit for individuals and for others. In the same manner, establishing punishment for not abiding by speed limit laws serves as a detriment to disobeying the law. Environmental laws and medical laws also provide excellent examples. Many issues such as gambling, pornography, and school choice have aspects of encouraging good while punishing wrong.