#Good or God: A New Perspective
Both the Old and New Testaments reveal the importance of discernment in determining what is good from God’s point of view.
Discernment is not automatic. We don’t obtain it by default after we’ve been Christians for a certain amount of time. It’s something we develop. Hebrews 5:14 speaks of “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (NKJV, emphasis added).
For an example of this, consider Peter. Peter was part of Jesus’s inner circle. He had heard Jesus teach, seen Him walk on water, and witnessed countless miracles at the Savior’s hand. Peter was the disciple who received the revelation that Jesus was the Christ. In short, Peter spent a lot of time with Jesus, and he knew Jesus and His teachings well. Yet look at this exchange recorded in Matthew 16:
…Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” (verses 21–22 NLT)
Let’s stop there for a moment. If you told your boss that he or she was going to be protected and live a long time, you’d expect them to be happy to hear it. A long life is a good thing! But look how Jesus responded:
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (verse 23 NLT)
I’m sure that wasn’t the response Peter was expecting! But as Jesus said, Peter’s perspective wasn’t in line with heaven. He was thinking in earthly terms according to human wisdom. While longevity is good, the will of God dictated Jesus would have to suffer and be killed in order to bring redemption to humankind.
Living in line with true goodness requires that we see things God’s way. We must know His Word and seek His will. When we exercise our spiritual senses in this way, we will learn to discern between good and evil. Then we will be able to embrace God’s best!
Pay attention to the way you process information and make decisions. Are you seeing from a human point of view or from God’s? Is there any area in which you default to what seems good without seeking your Father’s wisdom? How can you start pursuing a new perspective?
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