How good is good?

Jonathan, my 10 year old informed me when I got home today that if he was good he would get to go with a friend to a local amusement park next week.  His statement implies an understood expectation, standard, and reward.

This made me think of a verse in the Bibe.

“And a ruler asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone.'”   Luke 18:18-19

I hear people talk all the time about what or who they think are good.  When you ask some people about following Christ they point to the fact that “they are a good person.”  Whether they realize it or not, this statement implies a known standard that establishes their goodness – even if it is only known by them.  The question is, “Good compared to what?”  

“Of course we would not dare clasify ourselves or compare ourselves with those who rate themselves so highly.  How stupid they are!  They make up their own standards to measure themselves by, and they judge themselves by their own standards!”   II Corinthians 10:12  (GNB)

Jesus says something in Luke 18:18-19 that indicates what our standard of goodness is.  When asked “Good Teacher, what must I do?”, He gives a response that tell us what the standard of our goodness is and who it is we must look to for that standard – GOD alone.

We most often think of ourselves as good people, but by what standard.  What is the measuring stick?  What standard do we use to determine the goodness of others?  Do we measure ourselves on the same scale that we do other people?

The truth is, if we fall short of God’s goodness, then it’s not really goodness at all?  Jesus said there is only one who is good.

We normally complain about anything that is substandard.  Don’t settle for anything less.  Raise the bar.  Raise the standard.

“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13


3 responses to “How good is good?

  1. I bring this thought up when I’ve had conversations with folks about salvation. So many people believe that if they are “good” they will go to heaven. But “good” can be a pretty ambiguous word.

  2. Good challenge. I want to raise the bar!

  3. “Good” stuff. Too many today even among believers play the game that rationalizes to themselves that they may not be perfect, but they are better than Jim Bob down the street. God’s judgment will be based on whether He considers what we have or have not done as sin, not whether we think so or not. Like it or not what is and is not sin is not up for a democratic vote. I like Amos’ description of God’s measure to which we are to compare as a plumb line. God’s standard is not fuzzy. It is a straight edge. Thank God for His grace in Christ since we all fall short. Bryan

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