‘Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in His ways.’ Psalm 25:8 NIV
How would you define ‘goodness’ or ‘the good life’? French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau defined happiness as ‘a good bank account, a good cook, and a good digestion’.
Some would say the good life is physical. They think it doesn’t get any better than a long soak in a hot bath, a back rub, and a drink at the pub. Others would say the good life is material. They think if you have the mansion, the Mercedes, and the money, you’re living the good life. But goodness isn’t about feeling good, looking good, or having goods. It’s about being good and doing good.
And just like we need a clock to tell time and a ruler to measure distance, we need a universal standard for determining goodness. And we have one. God! ‘Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in His ways.’ Without a universally accepted standard for goodness, it becomes a grey area, a matter of opinion.
Hitler thought annihilating the Jewish race was ‘a good thing’. Suicide bombers think killing innocent human beings is ‘a good thing’. And such thinking can’t be countered with a simple, ‘That’s not good.’ What’s to keep a Hitler or a suicide bomber from saying, ‘That’s just your opinion’? The word ‘good’ stems from an old English word with the same connotation as God. It literally means ‘to be like God’. Goodbye is the shortened phrase ‘God be with ye’. So, the universal standard for goodness can only be decided by one who is universally good, and that One can only be God. Think about it!
SoulFood: 2 Chron 22–24, John 12:12–19, Ps 102:1–11, Pr 27:7–9
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023