God is Good..Blah, blah, blah…

The other day, I was relating a story to my husband about something great God had done. “Yeah, and then God did this and then He did that. He healed them. He saved them! It was awesome. You know, God is good. Blah, blah, blah.”

My husband immediately caught my slip and burst out laughing. “God is good. Blah, blah, blah?” he asked.

I hadn’t even realized I’d said it, but I had meant it. I had be re-telling a story about God’s awesomeness, His power, His redemption and I just reduced His goodness to “blah, blah, blah.”

And the thing is, I think I do this more than I’d like to admit–downplaying God’s attributes. But why? Well, isn’t it obvious?

For starters, as Christians, we become really good at throwing around trite, over-used, phrases. You know, Christianese. “God is good,” “Jesus loves you,” “Our God is awesome.” Yadda, yadda, yadda. See, I did it again…

We use these phrases so often, so frequently, that they become common-place in our everyday vocabulary. Yet, we rarely consider the full meaning of these words.

Which leads me to the second reason I am so quick to disregard God’s character in everyday life. It is a struggle I have long dealt with–the idea that God definitely, certainly, undoubtedly, has something good for you, buuuuutttt, He probably doesn’t have the same plans for me.

Will He give you your hearts desire? Yes! Will He lead you, guide you, protect you? You better believe! Will he do the same for me? Um, I’m not so sure most days.

You see, I doubt for myself. I don’t doubt for anyone else, just me. I question His goodness towards me and so it becomes very easy for me to downplay His goodness with an almost callous “blah, blah, blah…”

Good. It is such a simple word. It is also commonplace and ordinary, used to describe everything from pizza to people. But have you ever wrapped your head around exactly what His goodness entails?

I was given a book a few years ago by my uncle, called The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer, that radically changed my understanding of the word “good”( I suppose if I was really paying attention and had remembered what I had once read, I never would have said those fateful “blah, blah, blah’s”).

In his book, Tozer describes God’s goodness as something far beyond the usual weight (or lack thereof) that we generally give to the word. He says:

“The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly…That God is good is taught or implied on every page of the Bible and must be received as an article of faith as impregnable as the throne of God. It is a foundation stone for all sound thought about God and is necessary to moral sanity.”

Read that list of attributes again. It is God’s goodness that disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent. And this is the part that really gets me. His goodness is the “foundation stone for all sound thought about God.” Come again?

Had you ever considered that it is God’s goodness that lays the very foundation for the ways in which we perceive and understand Him? Essentially, Tozer is saying that if we don’t understand His goodness, we do not understand Him.

I imagine Jesus, cloaked in goodness and kindness, welcoming and hospitable, to those who would receive Him. He was goodness walking upon the earth. Goodness personified. Goodness towards me…and you. He is still goodness and there is nothing else to say about it.

Have you ever downplayed, disregarded, or briefly forgotten God’s goodness? Or heck any of His other attributes? Tell me I’m not alone…


22 thoughts on “God is Good..Blah, blah, blah…”

  1. You are not alone. I wonder a lot if God really has good thoughts about me, or, when I approach His throne, it’s more like, “Oh, it’s her again.” But, I am learning that He really does like me. As far as plans, big or small or great or beautiful, I try not to think about those anymore. If He wants me to do something big, then I expect He will let me know about them. Otherwise, I’m just trying to stay sane and loving and learning what He really is about and what His thoughts are, for me and the rest of the world.

    1. Judy, you sound much like me and like you, I am learning to trust that God likes me. He doesn’t just tolerate us. He adores us. It is something I daily have to choose to believe.

      I think focusing on Him and letting other things fall away sounds like you are on a great path to understanding His love even more. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh, my. What a beautiful reminder for this is for a Monday morning. I am all the time forgetting that He wants for the desires of my heart to be met, but in His timing, not mine. Since He’s not on my time schedule, I get into this thought that He must just not be that into me. Which is ridiculous foolishness. I just don’t want to wait for him to be good to me. Boo.

    1. Lindsey, I don’t like waiting either. I used to be famous for saying “God, I’m so good with waiting, if you could just tell me what I’m waiting for…” Nice trick, didn’t work.

      And can’t we just look back again and again and see how His timing wasn’t just nice, or okay, or swell….but truly perfect. {sigh} And so we wait.

  3. Love this. The biggest and best lesson I have learned this year is that my circumstances MUST be framed by God’s character and not the other way around. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Lore, ooooh that’s so good. I’m stealing it. Done. Stolen. I think I might even go the extra cheesy distance and put it on a sticky and place it on my mirror.

      Man, I am seriously mulling over this. Thank you for sharing!

  4. What a good reminder… ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and all that.

    I had a NT prof who pointed out when we were studying Heb 12 that the author makes the argument that if the Israelites at Sinai were so terrified to approach God, how much more should we who have the full revelation be in awe of gathering to worship.

    Which of course we’re not. Especially as a person who plans and leads worship gatherings ‘for a living’, I struggle to remember this on a week-to-week basis (to say nothing of day-to-day).

    That said, I’ve found tremendous joy in remembering to find wonder and awe in every gathering of the saints. It’s a discipline for me, and it’s wonderful.

    1. Ooh, that is a great perspective and question (although do you think we have the “full revelation” of God now or do you mean revealed through Christ?). It is surprising how quickly we take the holy and make it rote.

      Worship is such a great example, for so many reasons. Ironically, it has been during corporate worship, when the Spirit is thick and the saints are singing in unison, that I have most often caught a glimpse of heaven. For just that brief moment, I imagine I am there, in His throne room, worshiping Him for eternity and nothing else matters.

      The body where you serve is blessed to have you, seeking wonder and awe as you seek Him, not just a performance.
      Thanks for sharing Jr.

  5. Awesome article
    I have had this experience, especially in prayer. I’ll find myself asking for his Goodness, sort of expecting it due to his Promise, but do I really believe that he can/will carry out the answer? I know there have been plenty of times where I asked for help on a blah blah blah level ( knowing he ‘can’) but probably not very hopeful, even skeptical, that he ‘will’  

    1. Jason, I can so relate to those kinds of prayers–half expecting because that’s what we know the Word says, but half not because that’s what our flesh tells us. I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to ask in Jesus’ name, and in John where Christ said “whatever you ask in my name shall be given to you.”

      Obviously it doesn’t mean ask for whatever you want and say “Jesus” and you’ll get it. But it does mean align yourself with Christ, seek His will, pray, and those things will be given to you. And I mean, isn’t that what we are after anyway–His will.

      I’ll be praying Jason that as you ask, you are filled with faith, knowing that you are seeking the Son and in His name it shall be given to you, friend.

  6. Good words, Nicole. We seem to be de-sensitized to the good of God. We are flooded with His apparition in our Christian lives. The subculture of Christianity insulates us with catch phrases and status updates to such a degree we don’t stop to look at His awesomeness because it is commonplace.

    You said ” Will he do the same for me? Um, I’m not so sure most days.” I have several post in and around this feeling. Man that is tough to shake. I faith for you just not for me.

    1. Ken, well said friend, well said. Our insulation is much to blame. I also think that many Christians have never studied the attributes of God. What does goodness, kindness, righteousness, holiness really mean? The Knowledge of the Holy was truly faith-changing for me. it changed the way I pray, think about God, relay His message to others. Everything.

      And from one lacking faith for myself to another…I have faith for you too.

  7. i am right there. i never doubt His goodness for others, but it can’t be the same for me. this has never been more true than this week. i found out some very joyous news and yet when i was done rejoicing with my sister, my heart broke…..it is still very tender right now. however, i DO believe He is a God of comfort and perfect plans as i have seen and felt them both in my life previously. how easy i forget that in the moment though. thank you for being real, and know you are definitely not alone!

  8. I think that getting caught up in ideas of “good” or “bad” in relation to God can be very dangerous. I think that many of our ideas about “good” or “bad” result from emotional experiences, things we learn in within our social culture, and so on. The universe is seemingly beyond our comprehension, and if so, how are we able to discern “good” from “bad.”

    I have gone through many experiences which seemed and felt very “bad” while going through them, only to find later on that in fact they were “good” and necessary to my growth and development. In time, I came to appreciate them… as I came to appreciate the self, the I that manifested seemingly as a result of having gone through these “bad” experiences. So, if something or someone “good” came from or through “bad” experiences, then were those “bad” experiences not “good’?

    I think that we may be better off letting go of our ideas of both “good” and “bad.” I also think that we should let go of our habits of comparing and contrasting between one another. We are each incredibly unique and when we realize this, truly realize it, it makes comparison seem obsolete and fruitless.

    I think that when we let go of these ideas and notions of our self, of each other, and of God, that we can begin to more fully embrace the experience of our life as it is. Whether it is “good” or “bad,” it is, is it not? So then, what will we do with it?

  9. What…did you crawl into my brain and write down my words? You are SO nailing it on the head for me today. I also just read the “women’s ministry” one. I’m about 75% of that article, but TOTALLY understand all you are saying. I can’t wait to read more.

  10. I like it, Nicole! I am with you. God often gives me an ole’ kick in the but reminder that I’m failing to live like He’s good and wants to shower me with His goodness. Great post.

  11. Do Christians ever get to the place that the have become complacent to God’s goodness? I mean to ask do we ever expect God’s goodness without the awe?

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