Reflections – 2016.06
Paul, in writing to his younger minister friend, Timothy, often uses the Greek word which is translated “good” to describe the nature of the Christian life. Like many other words, the word “good” has lost some of its power in our language. If someone asks if we need something, we might say, “No thanks, I’m good.” Or someone might tell you after completing a task for you that you are “good to go.” Others might describe certain children as “good” kids but with some issues. If you say a movie was pretty “good”, this is not one others will want to see. Or maybe you might try out a restaurant and give it a “good” rating, which is equivalent to 3 stars or maybe a little more on TripAdvisor. Home Depot rates its paint brushes as “Good”, “Better” and “Best.” In our day, “good” is, well, not that good. OK. Mediocre. Middle-of-the-Road.
Paul clearly had more in mind. The Greek word has at its heart the idea of beautiful, valuable, having worth or nobility. Paul wanted Timothy to know and take to heart that the doctrine and confession and deposit which he had in his possession, that the Gospel itself, was good. Not mediocre, but beautiful, valuable, noble. And Paul wanted Timothy to know that the works we are called to do are good works, the fight we are called to fight is a good fight … beautiful, valuable, worthy.
How do you see your life as a Christian? Do you see it as good? We ought to praise the Lord that we have been given far greater than a 3-star salvation, a mediocre inheritance and an OK faith. Let me encourage you to read Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus and see how often he refers to different aspects of our faith as being good. This good faith is a gift from our good Lord, for of course that is one of His characteristics – He is good. And from His goodness flows His good gifts to us, e.g., His Spirit, our salvation, our provision, our comfort and help in trouble, our faith. May our response to His goodness be one of cherishing what He has given us as good (our foundation, confession, deposit, etc…) and looking to imitate His goodness in our works (by doing good works) and in the daily battle (as a good soldier, fighting a good fight). And may our good God be glorified in it all.