I was reading a textbook today, and catching up on the ever depressing news in our country and around the world, that prompted me to continue in on the discussion, God See’s. The textbook’s discussion was on the topic of morality, and explored the focus of how being law-abiding does not make you moral. As I read through these various avenues of information, I began to think about how many of us ask, how could that have happened to them? They were a “good” person, or everyone liked them. As a matter of fact, these were the questions of confused citizens being made aware of a nearby tragedy.
Good, the title we’ve so often times given to those we know, and love, and have accommodated within our spaces, people that we admire. It is a badge that many pursue from the lips of ‘man’; unaware of one major detail, there is only One who is truly good, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin [or, to be a sin offering] for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). What we mean when we say they were “good” is that they were good to us as a singular being or if we’ve had no personal contact, it’s what we have come to know of them. But the Word in 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV), says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ““Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.””
The Bible speaks of a ‘good’ man in context of those who seek after God’s heart and will, not by the standards of our earthly definitions. Matthew 12:35 (NIV) says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” I must stop here…Lord help us! Lord cleanse us of what is not like You because throughout the day when our hearts are not on guard we allow those small offenses to harden our hearts over a period of time. Can you attest to this? I know I can! This is why we must constantly keep prayer in our hearts so that the Word overrides the offenses that come against us. Lord help us!
The heart – a piece of the proverbial anatomy that moves and turns as swiftly as the tides of our beautiful oceans, so no ‘man’ can truly know it, except it’s Creator. In Luke, it speaks of how Jesus knew of the Pharisees standing amongst the crowd surely unable to blend in. Why? Because Jesus could hear their hearts, so wicked and full of evil that Jesus spoke up so they could hear, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight” (Luke 16:15, NIV). Their hearts were set upon earthly possessions and titles, which is no indication of God’s greater love, “for God so loved the world” (John 3:16, NIV). And in the same breath that He loves the world, “God does not show favoritism. …For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous” (Romans 2:11-13, NIV).
Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets [fall] on these two commandments.”
So let us set our hearts on what is good. Let us seek to see what is good in others.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive us for so often falling into our worldly desires and allowing our own will to supersede Yours. Change our hearts, our words, our views of others, so that we can show Your love that knows no bounds. Fill us with Your Spirit so that we can withstand the evils of this world. Show us how to protect our hearts from the offenses so that so easily trips us up.
In the name of Jesus we pray,