Statue of a stone lion in the Chinese garden, Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, TX

Knowing what is good

Our lives are full of a lot of things, some good and some not so good. It’s funny how we categorize events and people and gifts into good and bad or good and not good. It’s pretty easy for just about anyone to say that something is good or that something isn’t good, but I’m not 100% convinced that any of us know what is truly good, at least not on our own.

Using our own judgment doesn’t always work because we don’t know everything. We like to think we do, but we don’t. As Christ-followers, we need to depend on Scripture to tell us what is good and what isn’t.

Some things seem fairly obvious, right? Like stealing. Or killing. But are they obvious? Or are they only obvious because of the culture you’ve grown up in? What about marriage? What about children? What about death? What’s good? What’s bad? And how do we know the difference?

That’s why we have the Bible. That’s how we’re supposed to know how to live, how to die, how to serve, how to think, how to act. The Bible tells us what is good and what is bad, and it rarely coincides with our gut instincts.

Statue of a stone lion in the Chinese garden, Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, TX

Statue of a stone lion in the Chinese garden, Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, TX

Psalm 92

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to the Most High.

It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening,
accompanied by the ten-stringed harp
and the melody of the lyre.

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what you have done.
O Lord, what great works you do!
And how deep are your thoughts.
Only a simpleton would not know,
and only a fool would not understand this:
Though the wicked sprout like weeds
and evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.
But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever.
Your enemies, Lord, will surely perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.

But you have made me as strong as a wild ox.
You have anointed me with the finest oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
They will declare, “The Lord is just!
He is my rock!
There is no evil in him!”