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!”

Roses at Glen Eyrie - Colorado Springs, CO

What is a good thing?

Some mornings, you just need a Psalm. That’s my opinion at least. Some days, it’s good to remember who we are and who God is and how much we really depend on Him. Wasn’t it Martha Stewart who would say, “It’s a good thing”? I always think of that when I read this Psalm because it was the basis of an old chorus we used to sing. I’ve always thought of this as the “good thing” Psalm.

The funny part is that I doubt Martha Stewart, or many others of her rank, would agree on what “good” is. What is a good thing? Do we even really know? If there aren’t even any good people in the world (Romans 3:10), how do we know what’s good?

Well, that’s what we have this Psalm to tell us.

Roses at Glen Eyrie - Colorado Springs, CO

Roses at Glen Eyrie – Colorado Springs, CO

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!”

It’s a good reminder for a Friday. As we end another week, let’s remember that it’s good to praise God no matter where we are in our walk with Him. Don’t ever lose the sense of thankfulness and smallness you feel when He answers your prayers, and don’t ever forget that the only reason we succeed is because of everything He has done for us. Never let go of your joy and remember that even though it seems like people who do wrong have it made now, the story isn’t over.