The Goodness of God
You are good, and what you do is good. (Psalm 119:68)
Calling someone a ‘do-gooder’ is almost the worst insult you could make about them in today’s western, self-orientated society. ‘Do-gooders’ are almost always despised – normally, of course, by those who feel guilty for not having done the good themselves. But as the well-know Christian singer Cliff Richard once said in a television interview, ‘I’d rather be known as a do-gooder than a do-badder!’ And for Christians, that sums it up nicely.
The truth is, God wants us all to do good! But the reason for that is not that this is how we get to know him or win his favour or work our way to heaven (that happens by believing in Jesus alone); the reason God wants us to do good is, quite simply, because he himself is good; and because he is good, all that he does is good; and because all that he does is good, all that he promises can be trusted to bring about good too. This was why Joshua, towards the end of his life, could say to God’s people that ‘not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed’ (Joshua 23:14). He knew this faithful fulfilling of the promises had been quite simply an expression of God’s goodness to them.
It is because God has been so good to each one of us, just as he promised, that he invites us to reflect that by sharing his goodness with others – and not just with our friends, but also with those who set themselves up as our enemies. For goodness demonstrated in our lives can begin to open up people to an understanding of our good God and what he is really like.
Don’t be afraid of being a ‘do-gooder’; rather, reflect the ‘family likeness’ by enjoying more of God’s promised goodness yourself, and then sharing that goodness with others.
Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you … (Deuteronomy 6:18)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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