My good friend Merriam Webster says that goodness is the “quality or state of being good”.
I think it may have been the Psalmist who said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
I know when I taste something good, it usually that means it is bad for me. I should not be eating it, or at least I should eat it in moderation or on special occasions only, like Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays…
I have been trying to wean myself off of sugar. It’s pretty darn near impossible to have a sugar-free diet in our culture, but I have been staying (mostly) away from sweets and goodies, including chocolate.
I have been doing well. I go to my small group, weekly, and will have a little dessert there.
I wonder if the phrase “taste and see that the Lord is good” does not sit well in our stomachs. We are culturally trained to think if something is “good” for us, it must be bad, a sin. Think of those chocolate commercials, “sinfully delicious”.
How then do I respond to the psalmists invitation to come – “taste and see that the Lord is good”?
In our church, we have been challenged by the pastor to re-think how we see God. For instance, if I am worrying about my present situation, it means that I do not think God is big enough to handle it.
“The quality or state of being good…”
John says, “God is good.” So, how am I to share in this goodness? How am I to join in God’s quality of goodness?
Paul writes, “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).
By the power of the Holy Spirit! Not earth shattering, but a truth nonetheless. We have been called – I have been called, and this gives me at least some comfort that God has everything under control.
2 Peter 1:3-11 affirms Paul’s words. He writes, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Again, there is a “divine power” at work, and I get to “participate in the divine nature”. This is good news. The bad news is that I have to “make every effort” – I am going to have to act and move because the Spirit cannot act or move without my willingness to do so.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”
Sounds like a tall order! I thought I was writing a blog about goodness, but I have somehow added knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love to the mix.
I imagine this will take time, so bear with me, and I with you.