Thursday, October 24, 2013

Good = ?

When you've got a hard heart, only one thing will break it...
     I have been struggling with bitterness this week;  I was passed over for a promotion at work.  And even worse, the guy who got it is a good friend and a strong believer!  So, my battle with self-pity and dissatisfaction has been severe and recurrent, like a bad case of gastroenteritis. 
     A few days before the hammer of rejection fell on my head, my wife and I were discussing a relative who has been never been married and would very much like to be.  My wife has strong matchmaking tendencies, and expressed her desire to "just see my relative happy!";  I responded with Ps 84:11 & 85:12:

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly...Yes, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase."

     What my relative needs to do, I explained to my feisty wife, was change their definition of "good";  if God, in His inexpressible wisdom, has providentially denied us something we want, that thing must be bad for us.  In every society, there is a worldly definition of "good"... so when we are presented with the opportunity for more riches, romance, prestige, entertainment or the physical appearance of a 25 year old, the obvious question is "How can God NOT want me to have that???"  This disconnect between our perspective and God's goes all the way back, of course:  "So when the woman saw that the tree was good..." (Gen 3:6).  What God defined as death, Eve, in her sinful desires, defined as good.  Then there are the instances in Scripture where God gives unbelievers "good" things to blind them and accomplish their damnation (Ps 73:17f, Isa 2:7-12, 10:12, Rev 18:2-8). 
     So in the pit of my self-absorbed dejection, God brought to mind this point and I realized a false
Of course God wants me to have this!
seed of redefining "good" had crept into my heart and was sprouting its poisonous fruit.  No matter how much we want a new job, a new spouse, or new children (especially new children!), God knows exactly what circumstances and/or finances will conform us to the image of His Son.  For Paul, the Great Physician prescribed a full dose of suffering and crushing responsibility for His patient (2 Cor 11:23-28).  If anything, we can be happy that we get a little less!  Whatever toy or temporal pleasure He withholds from us must be, by definition, "bad".  So the next time you're frustrated with the allure of something you can't have, ask yourself:  "Is this good for me?"

Photos courtesy of stebulus, 401(K) 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments worthy of the calling with which Christ calls us!