If it’s good, it must be God. Right? These days we tend to believe whatever seems good must be in line with God’s will. But is that all there is to it? If good is so obvious, why does the Bible say we need discernment to recognize it? In this plan, best-selling author John Bevere offers a new perspective on what it means to live the good life.
- Proverbs 14:12
- Hebrews 5:14
- 1 Kings 3:9
A Simple Question
Welcome to the Good or God? reading plan! I’m honored and excited to share with you through this study. As we begin, I ask you to pause for a moment and pray. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you and reveal His truth to you over the next ten days.
Let’s start our study by examining a simple question. In the life choices we make, is it enough to pursue what’s good?
Many people might wonder why this question even needs to be asked. The answer seems obvious. What’s generally accepted as good must be in line with God’s will, right? Generosity, humility, justice—those are good. Selfishness, arrogance, cruelty—they’re evil. The distinction seems pretty straightforward, and whatever is good must be on the side of God.
But is that all there is to it? Maybe not. If good is so obvious, why does Hebrews 5:14 say we must have our senses trained to “discern [or recognize] both good and evil”? (NKJV) This makes it sound like there’s a difference between what appears to be good and what God calls good.
And consider King Solomon. At the dawn of his reign, he prayed to have an understanding heart so he could distinguish good from evil (see 1 Kings 3:9). Again it seems that what we would call obvious wasn’t so apparent from Solomon’s perspective. It also appears that what he sought was significant, for he was renowned for his wisdom. Are we missing something important because of our assumptions about right and wrong?
If we need discernment to tell the difference between good and evil, that means they aren’t always evident on the surface level. In fact, there may be things that seem good that aren’t. Proverbs 14:12 summarizes the situation for us: what appears to be good may be the way of death.
According to Scripture, there is a way that seems right. It seems good, wise, beneficial, strategic, acceptable, profitable, and so forth. Yet the warning in Proverbs is clear. What seems good may actually be detrimental, harmful, and nonproductive—the way of death. This is weighty!
I want to live with joy, success, and the blessing of God on my life. I’m sure you do too! So let’s commit to look beyond the obvious. Let’s press in to discover what God calls good, and let’s learn to live His way. Are you in?