Everything godly is good but not everything that appears good is godly. Believers, we need to employ discernment in every decision that we make in the pursuit of any cause. Let’s not make random decisions based on our intuition instead of on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Only, if we do this can we do the things that are really good. Let’s draw illustrations from the scriptures:
1. ‘Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ “ Matthew 4:5-6 (NKJV)
Here, the devil’s challenge might have seemed harmless to an undiscerning person. An overzealous person might have gladly jumped at this and would have failed woefully. The truth remains that Jesus is the son of God. The devil knows this truth. The Lord does not need to prove himself to the devil. Hence, he didn’t have to do the devil’s bidding. Someone else could have viewed this an opportunity to prove his sonship. He could have thought that doing it would bring glory to God. The devil was quoting the scriptures and the challenge appeared ‘good’, at least to fulfil the scriptures. But the Lord knew better, that was why he gave him this response:
‘Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ “
Matthew 4:7 (NKJV)
Tempting God is a bad thing, so ultimately, the devil’s challenge was a bad one. Beloved, please apply discernment even in your spiritual work. If some people call you up and ask you to come and perform some miracles to prove that the Lord liveth, be careful enough to ask the Lord for guidance and obey whatever command he gives to you before taking any steps whatsoever. The challenge could appear ‘good’ to demonstrate your faith, but is it good to the Lord? Find out and obey him.
2. ‘Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said,
“Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
John 12:3-5 (NKJV)
In the passage above, Judas appeared to be a concerned fellow. He appeared to care. His question appeared ‘good’. But was it? What was his motive? Let’s find out.
‘This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.’ John 12:6 (NKJV)
Summarily, Judas’ seeming care was nonexistent. He had a selfish undertone to his concern.
Friends, looking at these two examples, we can conclude that goodness lies in the motive or inspiration for an action or activity. If the motive for an action is good, then the deed is good. If the motive for a seemily good action is evil, then that deed is evil. A motive can only be adjudged to be good if it is pleasing to God. So, only the things that are pleasing to God are truly good. Anything that appears to be good but displeases God is bad. We need to find out what God wants through prayers and bible study.
Please be cautious as you proceed on your journey home. May the good Lord help you discern what is good every step of the way in Jesus name.
Have a wonderful week ahead.
(Photo credit: http://padicode.com)