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Sep 15 2014

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God Quotes: Why Do You Call Me Good?

Why Do You Call Me Good?

Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. (‭Luke‬ ‭18‬:‭19‬ NLT)

Some people call Jesus good but don't think of God (the Father) as good. Why do you call Jesus good? We see Jesus in the Gospels. He heals. He loves the unloveable. He died on the cross. We see his perfect life, and we say he is good. What about the Father? We look at the sickness and death in the world, and we point a finger at God. Why do you let pain in the world? Why do you let pain in my life? (A more likely question of the heart) We conclude that if there is pain and suffering in the world, especially if it touches me, then God is not good. Rarely do we way it out loud, but we call God bad.

Context

The context of this story is of a man who was coming to Jesus to ask about eternal life. The question of eternity is essential, but we often live life without eternity in view. With eternity in view, good and bad have a different perspective from a view of all that matters is here and now. Jesus questioned the man about why he would call Him good. Is it that the man thought about the word “good” in a very different way than Jesus? In the passage, the man thought he was a very good man. Jesus challenged his definition of good and raised the bar beyond the man's wildest imagination. It was so radical that the man ended up walking away. Why? Because the man had his mind set on the moment. If he could have seen the value of eternity. If he could have shifted his view. That man would have found what he was searching for.

In view of eternity, good is:

Perfect and sinless

In the here and now, good is:

Convenient, pleasurable circumstance. Better than everyone around me.

In view of eternity, bad is:

Any mark of sin. Any. It catches us all.

In the here and now, bad is:

Anything that is unpleasant or inconvenient. Most of the time, bad is our plans that didn't work out for us. Yes, bad includes pain and suffering, but in our day-to-day experience (in the affluent western society), bad is not experiencing the success we envisioned of the future. It's as if the profitable and favorable future we imagined is owed us. When we don't got that, we label it as bad.

Bad is also those who have sin struggles I don't have.

Is this true?

When was the last time you said you had a bad day? How was that evaluated? Was it bad because your plans didn't work out? Or, was it bad because your heart aches for the lost and the effects of a sin-sick world? This exposes me. I am so caught in the moment that I do miss the point of the eternal.

Also, how much do you compare yourself with God verses other people around you? If you are staring at eternity, there is only one comparison–and that is with God. In the moment, the comparison is always with those around us. Good and bad is based on being that much better–on the outside. We shy away from comparing our goodness with God because it is plain to see we are not perfect as God is perfect. But this is where we meet the Gospel. We are not good, but He is.

Define good in eternity. For yourself and for your perception of your circumstances.

A prayer

Father, forgive me. I have valued my definition for good and bad and neglected your truth. In the process, I have even accused you of being bad because I didn't like the way my life was. I am sorry I didn't step back and humble myself. You are truly good, and what you do is always good even if I don't understand it. Help me to have eyes to see the eternal. Help me to align myself woth your definition of what is good and what is bad. Transform me. In Jesus name, amen.

 

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