He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8, NKJV)
The word “good” gets thrown around so casually that it has lost its impact. Ice cream is good. The weather is good. I feel good. You look good. It’s all good!
Sadly, that’s just not true. Everything/all is NOT good. Jesus Himself said that only God is good. And yet, God sent His only Son to show us, through His life and death and resurrection, what is required of us if we claim to belong to the One who is good: we must do/act in a just and fair way (which can only happen if we use God’s plumb line to measure justice); we must love mercy (meaning we appreciate having received it ourselves and willingly offer it to others); and we walk humbly with our God.
All three components are necessary, but the last one keeps the other two in proper perspective. If we are not in an ongoing, humble, personal relationship with a God we truly know and love, we will not be good despite our best efforts. We may intend and attempt justice, but we will fail because we measure justice by criteria other than God’s. We might try to be merciful to others but often find ourselves choosing to withhold that mercy from those we consider “unworthy”—having forgotten how unworthy we ourselves are of receiving mercy from God. Yet where would we be without it?
Jesus is the only One who ever walked this earth and fulfilled God’s requirements of doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with the Father. But because He did that, we can study His earthly life and see the picture He has shown us of what it looks like to walk with the only One who is “good.”
Next time you’re tempted to say something like, “It’s all good,” stop and ask yourself, Is it really? Does whatever I’m referring to as being “good” meet the criteria laid out in the Scriptures? If not, why not ask the Lord to help you walk as Jesus walked and to fulfill the biblical requirements for serving a good God?