Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: Real Good

Wednesday's Word

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Real Good

Hello All,

Question: How do you define good? If somebody from another planet asked you to explain the concept of good, what kinds of things would you say to paint a clear “good” picture? When you think about it, it’s not so easy. Is "good" a choice relative to other choices? I guess you could argue that but don’t think so. Good is not a choice in itself; good is the measurement of a choice. The idea of taking a measurement implies a starting point. What is the starting point whereby we measure “good”? This is not meant to be a trick question and I realize there isn’t an easy answer but it’s most definitely something that we should spend a “good” deal of time considering. The issue obviously with defining good is finding an objective and agreeable way to measure it.

Let me add some levity – I’m really not trying to dictate the parameters or specifications that govern the correct usage of the word “good”. My “modus operandi” is more concerned with submitting food for thought rather than “follow these rules”: Not that I’m above a good “Thus saith The LORD” but that's not generally how I roll. Okay, as I was saying: From the point of view of trying to live a Spirit-filled, Christ-following life, I think it’s important sometimes to give consideration to the words we use. The notion of good can be so subjective, that when continuously used in inappropriate ways, we run the risk of dulling our doctrine.

At one end of the spectrum, we can be grossly corrupt.

Here’s the Word:

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.

This verse would seem to speak of “bad” people who know what they’re doing; but remember, it was Aaron who gave into the wishes of the children of Israel, melting their gold to form the golden calf. You need to realize that their initial idea was not “Hey, let’s make God really mad!” They thought it was a “good” idea.

Somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, we can be generally complacent.

Here’s the Word:

1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Just to be clear, that verse in Corinthians is not about envying someone else’s prosperity; it’s about a life of service to others for their benefit. We do live in a society inundated with relativism and sadly, it has largely affected delivering the message of Christ’s love to a dying world. We have sayings and beliefs that make it okay for us to continue pursuing the life that we want to live: “To each his own”, “Hey, whatever works for you”….stuff like that. We hold back from sharing “Biblical” Jesus with people because we don’t want to turn them off with “religion”. Generally, we don’t have much issue with seeing these choices as basically “good”. It’s good to not bother people right?

And at the far “other” end of the spectrum, we can be grievously confused.

Here’s the word:

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

That has got to be one of the scariest stories of all: These guys sincerely thought they were good, and by most anybody’s account they had undoubtedly done "good": They’d prophesied, cast out devils and other “wonderful” works. Jesus however, called them workers of iniquity. Grievously confused indeed. Now consider the thief on the cross who obviously didn’t do “good” things; his request to be “remembered” was honored immediately by Christs’ response: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 24:34). As difficult as it is to find a suitable definition for good, we must allow the Word of God to provide our objective measurement. We must not allow the world’s relativism to erode our fundamental definition. Like I said, I’m not trying to present “rules” and I truly don’t want to make any of this sound easy …just food for thought. It’s imperative that we let God define good. Only His definition will produce real good.

In Him,


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