Posted by: Ety W. | May 7, 2008

The Problem With Being Good

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I have an issue with the word “good”. Why? Because not everyone has the same idea about what it means. As with the word love, it can mean different things, to different folks, in different times, and different places.

For example, what does a parent mean when they say that a baby is good? Usually they mean a baby who doesn’t cry a lot and sleeps all night.

Or what does a teacher mean when they say a student is good? Isn’t that a child who does what they’re told and doesn’t demand a lot of behavioral correction? A parent on the other hand, is more likely to define their scholar’s goodness on the basis of the grades they make.

A boss will say we’ve done a good job if we’ve met his or her expectations.

“Good” can also refer to things we like, such as good music or a good meal.

But what about moral goodness? Stop for a minute and answer this next question in your mind before reading further….

What is sin?

Did the word “bad” somehow come to mind (as in the opposite of “good”)? I’ve heard quite a few Sunday School and VBS teachers define sin to children in this way: sin is doing bad things. Of course they are referring to a moral bad and good, but in this day of relativism, defining moral goodness isn’t all that easy.

Why? Because there is an idea in our society today that if one can produce a plausible reason for one’s actions, then the actions aren’t really bad. This is a recurring theme in today’s cops-and-robbers style entertainment; the good guys are justified in breaking the law in order to catch the bad guys, or, the bad guys had such horrible childhoods that we mentally excuse their actions.

Even worse, moral relativism has found it’s way into politics. Take for example, the issue of abortion. To those who believe that we are uniquely and purposefully created by a loving God in His image, then abortion is evil. But to those who believe that we evolved from nothingness and have no other purpose in life than to create our own happiness, then abortion is good. It all boils down to worldview.

Because of all of the above, we obviously can’t assume that people we talk to will interpret these terms the same way we do. Nor do we want to put our own assumptions on what the Bible says.

Well, it appears I’ve taken the long way around to taking a look at what the Bible means by “good” in this verse,

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good…. Titus 2:3 (NASB)

More on that next….Content copyright 2008 by If you find it anywhere else, it’s been stolen.

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