All Good Things Must Come to an End
Some sayings give us comfort, or help us illustrate a generally true sentiment, even when they are not entirely true. I think “All good things must come to an end” is one of these goofy sayings.
It’s occasionally useful, but not really true. As someone who wants to be an intentional father, I want to give my kids real truth. Not idiomatic substitutes that can confuse them as they mature. I don’t build our hope on the shifting sands of man’s turns of phrase.
I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It was given to humanity by a God Who loves us and is trying every way possible to communicate that love to us in tangible ways. I hold all things up to its glorious light to sift the true from the sorta-true.
While this saying falls short of absolutely true, the catch is, there is some truth in it.
For example, a number of good things really do come to an end:
- The fun dinner you have with great friends, where you laugh so hard the waiter gets tired of stopping by to see if you need anything, only to be met by snorts.
- The getaway you and your wife enjoy after 20 years of marriage, with the kids back home, as you tool down the beachside street in the rented red convertible.
- The season of parenting when our cute little toddlers hang on our every word, believing we are infallible, amazing, and can banish the boogeyman at the drop of a hat.
So, sure. In a number of cases, some good things really do come to an end.
However, the really good things – the best things in fact – never come to an end:
- God’s steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 118)
- God’s word is true and will endure forever (Matt 24:35)
- God Himself (Revelation 1:8)
- The life of the believer (John 3:16)
I don’t have a major problem with axioms, rules of thumb, or reliable sayings that help us make sense of this crazy life. In fact, much of the book of Proverbs is just that – proverbial wisdom that is generally true, but not absolute certainty in every case.
Even so, as I am trying to raise godly boys, I want them to know the whole truth from the half-truth. I want them to be critical consumers of what they see on TV, hear on the radio, read on the Internet, and learn from their college professors.
That starts with me sometimes helping them decode half-truths like “all good things must come to an end,” and place them in their proper light. Rather than pass down, “What my pa always said was …” I’d like to hand over Biblical truth so they can know God and know that His goodness, faithfulness, and love for them is a good thing that never ends.
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