God is Good, But How Good is He?
I read something on the weekend that hit me like a stone.
It was written by someone who is troubled that the church no longer fears God like in the good ol’ days of the Old Testament. The problem, apparently, is the result of “overemphasizing the goodness of God.”
Think about that. We have “overemphasized” the goodness of God.
That’s like saying, “He’s good, but he’s not that good. There’s a tiny part of him that’s bad.”
I beg to differ.
If I had just one adjective to describe God I would say he is love, but if I were given a second adjective I would say he is good.
Indeed, God is the very definition of good. Look up “good” in the dictionary and it says, “see God.”
The devil – who is bad – doesn’t want us to think of God as being perfectly good. But God is good and everything he does is good.
The Jew says, “God is one,” and he is.
The Muslim says, “God is great,” and he is.
But the Christian says, “God is good” and rejoices!
It is the goodness of God that makes the good news good. Just as there is no bad news in the good news, there’s no badness in God.
Imagine where we would be if God were bad, or half bad and half good. We would live under a cloud of uncertainty, fearful of his mood swings. But God is not like that.
God never has a bad day, nor even a bad moment.
He doesn’t have a bad temper.
He never has occasion to say, “Oops, my bad.”
Everything about him is good and he is good all of the time.
All his gifts are good. If you think you have found something good and it doesn’t have God’s fingerprints all over it, you are working with an inferior definition of good.
God is the benchmark for what is good.
Perhaps you have never heard that God is good. Perhaps you don’t believe it. Taste and see for yourself. His goodness will lead you to repentance. It’ll change your skeptical mind.
Make the Good Shepherd your shepherd. He will lead you from the front, while his goodness follows you all the days of your life. If you don’t know where the goodness of God is right now, turn around. It’s right there next to his everlasting mercy.
It is not possible to overemphasize the goodness of God. You might just as well try and overemphasize his wisdom or try and grasp the breadth, width and depth of his love!
God is good. All the time.
But that’s just my opinion. What do you think?
Sources: 2 Chr 6:41, Ps 23:1,6, 34:8, Rms 2:4
So good Paul! I agree with you!
God is bigger than the biggest.
He is stronger than the strongest.
He is wiser than the wisest.
He is better than the best.
He is greater than the greatest.
He is always always always ALWAYS good.
In case somebody misunderstood me, this is what I meant: God is always good.
#𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗖𝗘𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗬 𝗔𝗟𝗟 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘 𝗚𝗢𝗗 𝗜𝗦 𝗚𝗢𝗢𝗗 𝗧𝗢 𝗠𝗘 𝗔𝗟𝗪𝗔𝗬𝗦! “My Righteousness I hold fast & will not let it go for as long as I live,I will not allow my hart to condemn me” Job 27:6
This is what Job is saying in details: I hold fast to the belief tht God is good to me & I will not let go of those thoughts tht God is good to me always & I will not allow my hart to try & convince me with the condemning lies tht God is not Good to me,I refuse to believe tht. I believe tht all the time God is good to me always!
Great points. The goodness of God is the basis of our identity. We believe Jesus’ death on the cross made us good…right standing with God. We were bad. Now we are good. I am good because my God made me good by filling up and living inside my new nature. Only then can I do any good in this world.
Not only that. He sets all things right because he is good. I suppose I am talking about His righteousness now. Peterson defines righteousness as setting all things right. But if we say “God is good” Then we believe He is working all things out for our good. He is setting everything right.
Enjoying your clarity in your writing Paul
He is so good that Prov 13:20 and I Cor 15:33 can’t touch Him!
Brilliant Paul. Love Love Love the post!
What an incredibly bizarre thing to say that people have over emphasized the goodness of God! Just makes you laugh a bit.
Blessings mate. Keep up the good work!
Can’t agree more, and more people need to know that God is good
“No one is good except God” Luk 18:19
Cornel, Perry, Ryan and Tung – thanks for the comments. You guys get it. Gerry, I never thought that! Awesome. Thanks for pointing out that our bad company doesn’t corrupt God’s good character. Just as our sin is no match for his grace, His goodness is greater than our badness – and thank God it is! God can take the worst sinner and make him righteous at no risk to his (God’s) own holiness. More reasons to be thankful.
God is Good.. 🙂 All the time.. I think the Cross is more than enough prof of that…
some one said “GOD LOVES U, Jesus came to SHOW IT”..:)
I heard this saying once that said ‘God might not seem nice at times, but He is always good.” And it is true I believe. Some things that God does may not, in our human understanding seem nice. Like allowing earthquakes, war, even causing ‘bad’ things to happen. But He is always good. He always has a plan as to why He allows things, and it is a good plan. Its trusting him with our unjust circumstances and painful challenges, knowing He is good. So yes… God is GOOD!
Isn’t that kinda like defending a wife beater because he had a good reason for doing it?
Believe is not guessing but knowing. God is not the author of confusion. God is love. So God cannot cause bad things to happen. Or do you think it is okay to beat someone bloody because in your heart you love them?
If God allows these things to happen,He might as well just done them Himself.Just thinking about some of the traditional things we been taught Tracy.Not so sure about the allowing teaching we have been fed.Seems like a pat anwser for things people don’t understand to me.Just can’t see it in the new convenant.
Can you give an example Sandy as to what you mean? If God didnt allow sin for example, we would all be dead. He allowed Job to be tested. He allowed Judas the free choice to decieve Jesus. I dont quite see where you are coming from by saying that God doesnt ‘allow’, and that we have been misled. If you go down that road, God becomes a very distant overseer of His creation, and is not intimately involved with us…..
There are two kinds of “allow” in Christian-speak. One means God stepped back and let things happen like free will, set up weather patterns to follow a natural based course, etc. The second kind is a warped view of “allows” that sees God having to give a stamp of approval to to said “bad” events because nothign can happen without HIs express approval. In other words God either steps back and lets nature take it course or He secretly directs evil and bad things to happen because His all-power will not allow Him to let go of the puppet strings of this world.
Either God can let Himeself not act and lets things happen or He has to act on everything, everywhere which turns Him into a manical puppet master wielding both good and evil.
Paul, you have a great gift for understanding God, Christ, and the Bible! I think you have a perfect sense of humor as well, showing up in not only your writing, but the pictures you put up on your blog 🙂 Don’t ever let it go to your head! Please just keep doing what you are doing! You are more valuable than you know as you promote the Gospel, and the grace of God! He has put you in a good place. I thank God for you and share your blog with others. – Sandy
Thank you, Sandy. I am encouraged. Don’t worry, I am surrounded by people who would never let anything go to my head! Yes, God has me in a good place – the best place I have ever been. I marvel at how he got me here.
Nothing foul or bad is in God. He is too good to fully understand his goodness. I actually can’t explain why he is so good even to a bad people except that he is good coz he is God. Thank you Abba for your goodness. I’m with you Paul.
Paul, I always remember why I fell in love with escapetoreality each time I dare to read this. “Our responsibility, our only responsibility, is to believe God is good and true. “
Amen! I think that part of the problem is that we confuse what is good for us, and what isn’t. So many times on FB I see posts from friends about getting a raise, havibg a baby, getting married…followed by “God is so good!”. Yes. He is. But He was still good when I became a widow 2 years ago. He is just as good during our darkest of times, as He is during the best of times.
To say God is good but He allows bad things to happen is insane. What earthly father would allow bad things to happen to their children, if you earthly fathers wouldn’t how much more Our Heavenly Father. God is not in control of evrrything that happens. To think that He is, is the cause for this “God allows” doctrine which is not biblical at all. Thank you Paul for the simplicity of the article. I don’t comment much but I’m a regular on your blog.
Everything works for good for those that believe, the bad is from the man God, yes God said we are Gods.We create and God speaks of it before the creation.
Chris Romans 8:28 does say God works all things for the good of them that love him… but what it doesn’t say is that God causes the bad things. Jesus on earth revealed the heart of God, not even once did He put sickness, a curse or poverty on anyone to teach them a lesson. Jesus didn’t kill anyone because God needed them in heaven. Instead he raised the dead. He healed the sick. He delivered the oppressed. Jesus is the heart of the Father, look to Him and you’ll know the heart and will of our Father.
It seems you have not read what I have said. The bible also says that before God there was nothing, this is what makes God , God. He is the creator.Read John 1:1-3. Even the first words of scripture tell us this , this is the beginning of truth.
It is impossible for God to kill anyone, and the only place man can take life is in his heart.
Now if you really understand the implications of my last comment, you will start to understand death.
Romans 5:12 AMP
Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned.
It seems like my bible tells me God didn’t create death, but it entered in as a result of sin. John 10:10 is clear about who’s the killer, destroyer and thief. Romans 11:29 says the gifts of God are irrevocable, life is a gift from God and He won’t take it back. God is not a killer. He gives life in abundance
Paul, this is a great example of worldly religion vs The Gospel of Christ and God. When we leave Grace off the table, we begin to be religious and not “Christian” Thank you for all of your hard work (I know it isn’t really work) to bring the truth to the people who seek it.
the message is clear, but time our experience in life do make us think orderwise, because if we ask for bread n we get stone we make take it as d will of God, but dis is not what we requested for, nevertheless we give thanks knowing that, God his able to do more aboundantly that we ever ask.
God created all. There is good and there is evil. If evil exists then God created it. Goodness intrinsically cannot exist with out evil and many parallels follow suit; something and nothing, light and darkness, beauty and ugliness, positive and negative, left and right, black and white, up and down, energy and no energy. These are just all in different planes or dimensions or perceptions. Does God allow evil to exist? Yes, it is completely unarguable that evil does not exist because he states it himself through the bible. If evil exists how is that God did not create it, allow it to be created or oversee it? In one idea, since God is all, evil resides within God but at some point in some dimension there is a line where evil is not allowed to enter. A point where his absolute goodness, his essence, begins and that is the place where it is wholly holy, pure light, pure energy purely non-spatial etc. When thinking about these different planes, dimensions or perceptions; every change into one invokes new laws, rules or boundaries. In the end since all is within God and God is good then yes in that sense nothing can actually end in the state of evil, because he is all encompassing, in control. In our small mindedness, short sighted tendencies, finite minds, bad things and evil are allowed. Free will may be in the top 3 greatest gifts or laws that our minds can fathom. It is through this that, in one perception, we must experience evil so that we can comprehend his goodness.
All of these things are opinions, thoughts and maybe even mumbo jumbo ramblings. These things however make it possible for me to justify the existence of evil. These things also cannot be wholly understood by any mortal. Free your mind of linear thought and you may make it further than most but it is not possible to fully understand God in this life but as a whole of humanities thoughts, maybe.
ramble complete. sit and let these things soak in.
By that logic, God created Pokemon.
That is a great point. Directly, probably not(haha), indirectly, yes depending on how you look at it. After making my last comment I remembered the age old “problem of evil” argument between philosophers. I think I unintentionally committed to the evidential point of view. How much greater is God then evil? Infinitely. I think evil is finite, for it is certainly not omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent.
Just as darkness is the absence of light so evil is the absence of good. God is the ultimate good. Easier to comprehend and much less offensive to the wounded heart.
Ha! Just wrote a blog post about how we diminish God’s grace, we worry about taking advantage of it instead of being in awe of how limitless it is! I totally agree with this. Our modern church worships a holy soverign God. And I do too, but He is so much more than that! Gracious, merciful, father, counselor, friend. All good. Don’t miss out on the good. You bless me with your wisdom & insight friend.
God is absolutely good!!!!!
God is good. But is he kinda tricky?
He put two special trees in the garden. One would give our friends A & E eternal life. The other would lead to Knowledge that was/is quite terrible it turns out. I don’t mind He did that. Assuming He explained the nature of both trees to them. But why the heck did he allow the serpent in there? Why did that guy get to perch in that tree and taunt us? Was there any chance we were NOT gonna get kicked out of Eden? Too bad they didn’t eat from the other tree. Maybe they would have if there was something shiny hanging from it. I think the cross is that tree for us now. But boy. What a long yucky road it is to get there sometimes.
I don’t believe God allowed the serpent into the garden; Adam did. God made a beautiful planet and gifted it to us. He put man in the garden to keep or guard it (Gen 2:15). Adam didn’t. Through his neglect he put his wife and family in grave danger. The story of the Garden is not about God’s negligence but his redemption. First Adam left the gate open, but last Adam repaired the breach.
Paul I like that you let people give their different opinions instead of cutting them off because they don’t agree with you!…..which I have had done to me by another world famous grace dude!!!
All Adam did was use his inherent gift of free will. He was designed to think for himself and to make independent decisions, and that is exactly what he did. God was never depending on Adam anyway. Jesus was always God’s ‘Plan A’ – not His ‘Plan B’ (as so many Christian leaders like to teach).
Hi Paul, I love your reference to other world religion’s view of God, and our view causes us to rejoice! I agree with you: God is good. I have heard that God is light and He is life as well…totally agree with that. The area that causes me confusion is when I see so many brothers and sisters around me in dire circumstances, standing on the Truth of His goodness, and them seeing no change. I question God….and then I say “I have no where else to go, I have to continue to follow you. I trust that one day He will make everything clear to me. Thanks Paul for these Truths.
The heavens are the lords,but earth he has given to man,&and if were conected to to God were conected to heaven.
Saw a post about Dietrich Bohnhoffer’s writings about cheap grace. Have you any thoughts about this? I sure do.
I have written about Bonhoeffer’s concept of cheap grace and the responses of Gerhard Forde and others in my book, Letters from Jesus. You can find an extract here.
We have but glimpsed Him, or known His loving kindness, His marvelous Grace, His love.
Thank you, Sir Paul Ellis, for this great article! Praise God! I see the grace of God flowing trough all your articles! I wanted to say that God said the death and life are in the power of the tongue, He told us to choose life, so choose His Word, Jesus, Grace! We shall not speak only the Words God gave us? He gave us authority to speak His Words, to profesy what He says, in the Name of Jesus! So we don’t have to give away authority to other words, of unbelief and doubt, to give the license to enemy! Jesus said He only says what the Father says and the Father does the work, we have to be His disciples, so to speak His Words, our Will as His Will, to know in which Covenant we are, to know our identity in Jesus, His promises for His children, to not take the thoughts and words which contradict His Words. In His Presence is Joy and is Peace. Grace and Peace are together, in Him we have all blessings, think of how we love own children and that He is Love! Hallelujah! May all of you know and see His Goodness, He does all things well, He gives us not just enough, but to overflow all good things! God bless you! Thank you, Jesus!
We cannot exaggerate His goodness, that’s not possible.