Each of us can think of someone in our life that we would consider to be a really good person. Maybe a parent, a spouse, a close friend... or any combination of the above. And when we think of someone who is good, we certainly assign trustworthiness to that person.
But no one is truly, inherently good. We are human. And each of us proves our fallibility each time we falter. Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
But God is perfectly good. In fact, He is the only one who can be defined as truly good. Which is the point Jesus makes in Luke 18:19.
In this passage, a highly influential and wealthy Jewish leader approaches Jesus and addresses Him as “Good Teacher” and asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus rebukes him and says, “Why do you call me good?… No one is good except God alone.”
Jesus’ point is that no one is intrinsically good. No one. But God.
This is such an important truth to understand. Our idea of goodness is formed by our experience. The only goodness we have experienced is limited and inconsistent. And we have all experienced someone we thought was a good person do something that was far from good.
But someone who is perfectly good can do no evil. Which means everything God does is for our benefit. Everything God does in your life is for your benefit, not His.
God is the essence of good. Not mostly or usually good. But always, truly, and inviolately good. As we saw in our first reading John affirms this when he declares in I John 1:5, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” No darkness. Zero. No potential for evil. Perfectly and inherently good. And incapable of being anything other than that.
This is critical to understand because God’s motivations always come from that goodness. Everything God does in your life flows from the fact He is good. Perfectly good.
That’s why the call of the psalmist in today's reading, Psalm 34:8, is just so poignant: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”
You can totally trust God today because He is perfectly good. And that goodness is what animates His every thought of you. That’s why His goodness is a powerful refuge for you from whatever challenges, disappointments, hurts, and difficulties you may face. In that refuge of eternal and unchanging goodness you will find the joy and blessing you so desperately want. Trust Him for that!
RESPOND: Think back on a time when someone you trusted was good did something that violated that trust. Explain that to God and give that to Him, confessing your trust in His unfailing goodness.