Good or God…
As we continue on in Pastor John Bevere’s book [Good or God?] we drill down on the idea of good.
How many of us even consider that the idea of good would be separate from God? Most of us would not consider that they could be separate, yet that is exactly what Bevere addresses in the beginning of Chapter Three.
What does the word good mean?
Most of us use the word indiscriminately and spend little time thinking about its origin, but “Good” is a word that is based on evaluation. For example, we might declare something good because it is beautiful or pleasing to the eye. We evaluate the idea of beauty as we compare it to other things. Good may mean useful but we evaluate usefulness by comparing something that is useful to things that are less useful. Profitable may be “good” but only as we compare something to less profitable things. [I hate to use the word thing so much but good covers a lot of territory, a lot of “things”].
All this sounds a bit mundane: David is “making a mountain out of a molehill” so to speak. However, when one consults the Bible, God is in the evaluation game. Reread Genesis and note that when God viewed His work at the end of each day, He declared it good. Bevere states “God shared His image and likeness with mankind that human beings have the capacity to make value judgements.” In other words, since God can declare what is good or make judgements, man can too.
There is a big difference here.
God evaluates perfectly.
Man has a distorted perception of this world due to sin.
Pastor Bevere is laying the foundation for the argument that he is making in his book: God’s evaluation is the evaluation that really counts. Mankind’s evaluation can be very flawed.
I was having a conversation with a man the other day. He seems to be a good guy, chipping in to do his part around his house and he is someone who tries to help his neighbors. However there is something about him that may represent what Pastor Bevere is referring to. He has a very strong prideful tendency. He does not want to admit that he has challenges. He does not want to accept help. He does not want to share too much of what is going on with his life. I mention this conversation because this guy may represent so many people who might say “I know what is right for my life and don’t need anyone to tell me otherwise” .
I don’t need to be too tough on him. I don’t know him that well and he is not unique. Bevere thinks that this “I know what is right for me” attitude is man’s downfall. My conversational partner’s attitude is representative.
Let’s be plain.
I don’t know what is right for me a lot of the time. I just think I do.
What if God’s plan for me is very different from what I think I should be doing?
What might I do if I get a Divine notion that I am heading the wrong direction? I may change course and redirect my efforts or I may be stubborn and plunge ahead.
Proverbs 16: 25 says “There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.”
That, my friends is a warning. Changing course is the wise thing to do. Plunging ahead may be a big mistake. God knows that we are faced with many temptations in this world. The line between good and evil is not as clear as we wish it was. Pastor Bevere says “God warns that there will be ways—behavior patterns, thought processes, beliefs, customs or even traditions—that seem acceptable by our evaluation but will prove faulty in the building of our lives, and will in time take a toll” .
The problem is that our society says many things are perfectly ok when they are not. The bandwagon fallacy is alive and well, you know “everyone is doing it”: therefore it must be ok. The result of these poor evaluations and resulting actions may not be felt immediately, but will be felt late in life.
1 Timothy 5:24 states “Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgement. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until much later.”
Good or God…
Who are we going to trust? Do I trust my own judgement about what is the good thing to do for my life? Am I going to let God lead me?
I know what I want to do…