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Is good enough?

To many people, the terms good and God seem synonymous. We believe what’s generally accepted as good must be in line with God’s will. Generosity, humility, justice—those are good. Selfishness, arrogance, cruelty—they’re evil. The distinction seems pretty straightforward. And whatever is good must be on the side of God.

But is that all there is to it? If good is so obvious, why does Hebrews 5:14 teach that we must have discernment to recognize it?
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
(Heb. 5:14 NKJV, emphasis added)
Consider King Solomon. At the dawn of his reign, he passionately prayed, “Give to Your servant an understanding heart... that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9, emphasis added). It seems in his eyes the differences weren’t so apparent. It also seems what he sought was significant, for he was renowned for his wisdom. Are we missing something substantial by our assumptions?

If we need discernment to tell the difference between good and evil, that means they aren’t always apparent on the surface level. In fact, there may be things that seem good that actually aren’t. Elsewhere in Scripture, we are told:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
(Prov. 14:12 NKJV, emphasis added)
There is a way that seems right—it seems good, wise, beneficial, strategic, acceptable, profitable, and so forth. Yet the warning in this verse is clear: what seems good may actually be detrimental, harmful, and nonproductive—the way of death. This is weighty!

Good is all about our reference point. A friend of mine uses this example. If two families move into identical $200,000 homes, one family might consider it a good move while the other thinks it’s a bad move. Why? The first family moved from a one-bedroom apartment, but the second moved from a three million dollar estate.

If our reference point is what society calls good, we can easily be swayed from God’s wisdom, confusing good and bad. But if we rely on God’s inspired Word to set our standard, we will be unshakeable.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right [good].
(2 Tim. 3:16 NLT)
Do these statements of truth challenge your perspective in any way? I encourage you to meditate on 2 Timothy 3:16. Invite the Holy Spirit to begin reshaping your perspective by His Word.

Source: Good or God? by John Bevere 
Excerpt permission granted by Messenger International. 
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

John Bevere
Web site: Messenger International
 
Over 30 years ago, John and Lisa Bevere met in college. John was a tennis-playing engineering student, and Lisa was a sorority girl. On their very first date, John shared the gospel with Lisa and she gave her life to Christ. Soon after, they got married, and they've been happily married ever since.
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