Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Good

How do you describe someone as good?  A good friend?  A good spouse?  A good job?  A good car?  A good marriage?  A good school?  A good church?  A good sermon? A good president?  How is good measured?

Merriam and Webster aren't much help with this and don't give a clear cut definition.  Here are some synonyms for good.

Commonsense, firm, hard, informed, just, justified, levelheaded, logical, rational, reasonable, reasoned, sensible, sober, solid, valid.

Oookaaaaaay.  In Christian circles we like to say, "God is good."  But what does that good mean?  How can one say God is good when one is burying a child, taken too soon?  How can one say God is good when losing their home and their job? How does one say with conviction God is good while battling depression or cancer?

But God is good.  I'm just not quite sure how to describe how good He is.

My Greek helps weren't much help either.  Good in the New Testament is translated from a handful of Greek words and all of them use "good" as a definition.

The English antonyms of good are these:

groundless, illogical, invalid, irrational, nonsensical, unfounded, uninformed, unjustified, unreasonable.

I can think of  several people I know who would say those words describe how they see God.

So I looked to see what God said was good.  When He created the world, after each day's work the Bible says He saw that "it was good."  So that good, in Hebrew is Tob.  It means to do well, be pleasing.  Good pleasant, beautiful, excellent, lovely, delightful, joyful, fruitful, precious, cheerful, kind, correct, righteous.

God is good and makes good things.

Somehow, even in the darkness of our broken lives, God is good.  God cannot be bad.

God cannot be illogical, even when there is no logic in our human understanding for the suffering in the world.

God cannot be irrational or nonsensical when we are living in circumstances that make no sense to us.

God is still good even when we see the unreasonable, the unjustified, the unfounded.

God is still good even when we think He's being mean or absent or uncaring.

God is still good even when all around us we see bad things happening.

God is still good even when all we can see is our pain and wonder, where is God?

God is still good.

If God is good, that means everything about God is good.

If God is good, that means everything I struggle with is for good.

If God is good that means God uses my struggles for good.

God can't use bad things for bad.  God can only use bad things for good.

God can sift through the layers and layers of bad and still find the good that lies there.

Even when we're at our worst,.  God still sees how good his creation of us is.

Even when bad things are happening directly to me or around me, God sees the good coming from the bad.

How do I know?  I don't know how I know is my answer.  I simply believe God is good even when it looks like He isn't.

Because I believe He is good I know good is around me in my "bad" circumstances.

We Christians like to quote a scripture that says All things work for good.  All means all.  It doesn't mean just the things I want to work for good or the things that should work for good.

All things work for good.


G is for good because God is good.


There are 601 verses in the Bible that use the word good.  These are just a few.

Genesis 1; Numbers 10:29; 2 Samuel 10:12; 1 Chronicles 17:26; Psalm 34:8; Psalm 119: 68; John 10:11; Romans 8:28; Romans 12:9; Ephesians 2:10.

And one more reflection...

   "Jesus gained the power to love harlots, bullies, and ruffians...he was able to do this only because he saw through the filth and crust of degeneration, because his eye caught the divine original which is hidden in every way - in every man!...First and foremost he gives us new eyes...
   "When Jesus loved a guilt-laden person and helped him, he saw in him an erring child of God.  He saw in him a human being whom his Father loved and grieved over because he was going wrong.  He saw him as God originally designed and meant him to be, and therefore he saw through the surface layer of grime and dirt to the real man underneath.  Jesus did not identify the person with this sin, but rather saw in this sin something alien, something that really did not belong to him, something that merely chained and mastered him and from which he would free him and bring him back to his real self.  Jesus was able to love men because he loved them right through the layer of mud."

Helmut Thielicke


  1. I had to scratch my head when I read the definitions of good from the dictionaries. Not what I would have come up with and so was surprised.

    There are times I think most of us wonder about God being Good, or always being Good.


  2. Thanks for stopping by,Sandy! You are so right, and I think we tend to think of Him being Good (like a child is good in the store to get a treat from mom) or always being Good. No bribery needed, He just is. Always trying to lay a trap for God to behave on our terms, instead of resting in His good grace. Have a blessed day!