Theology Thursdays: The Goodness of God
Updated: Nov 9, 2019
As you can imagine, the goodness of God is something counselees wrestle through all the time in my office. It is one of those foundational truths that is easy for me to believe on the good days, but when our lives are turned upside down by “bad” things, our theology is put to the test. It is good for me to keep studying this attribute of God’s character when the skies are clear so that I can hold tightly to it when he clouds roll in.
In a similar way to the wisdom of God, as we looked at last week, God is incapable of doing evil. Everything He does is good. In my opinion, this is perhaps one of the most overlooked points in evangelism. Even those of the world in their most debased state, recognizes that there is still a standard of right and wrong. A person may believe he is justified in murdering his enemy, but when a friend double-crosses him, steals from him, or commits adultery with his wife, there is a sense of injustice and wrong. Even a person who advocates tolerance of many kinds of evil still has some area in his life that he tries to protect as his “standard.” What few recognize is that this desire to have a measure of right and wrong points to the character of God Himself. “The goodness of God means that God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval.” In counseling, it is difficult to help a counselee “approve” of the work of God when he is made to feel grief or discomfort, yet this is part of the process of understanding the character of our holy God (Ps. 100:5). It is our definition of goodness that we need to align with God’s definition to ensure that we’re talking about the same terms. It is from His goodness that the other attributes we recognize more easily tend to flow, “God’s mercy is his goodness toward those in distress, his grace is his goodness toward those who deserve only punishment, and his patience is his goodness toward those who continue to sin over a period of time.”
 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: an Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 197.
 Ibid., 198.