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…