Our Daily Journey with God
January 21, 2020
exploiting goodness

In Your Love, You were patient with them for many years. You sent Your Spirit, who warned them through the prophets. But still they wouldn't listen. [Nehemiah 9]

You can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light [1 Peter 2:9]

Before I taught my first college class, a seasoned teacher gave me this advice: "Make students think you're as mean as a snarling dog for the first month. That way they'll appreciate it more when you finally smile."

Instead of following his suggestion, I told my freshmen English students that I wanted to make class enjoyable. I wanted them to love language and writing as much as I do. I thought I had to make class fun.

But they mistook kindness for weakness, mercy for leniency, and patience for permissiveness. They became disrespectful and delinquent. I became angry, frustrated, and short tempered.

One day after a failed attempt to get them to be quiet, I blurted out, "You make me feel like God." That got their attention. I said, "Everything I intend for your good, you use against me. I don't want to be angry or harsh. But if that's what it takes for you to learn, that's what I'll be.

Psalm 78 written by Asaph and the prayer of confession recorded by Nehemiah [Nehemiah 9] both affirm that goodness starts with God's care and provision, but it is interrupted repeatedly by human failure and unfaithfulness.

Paul wrote to Christians living in Rome, "Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?' [Romans 2:4]

It's a dangerous and wrong assumption to conclude that God's goodness to us in such things as wealth and opportunity is proof of our own goodness. No, God's goodness ought to lead us to repentance- not pride.

-Julie Ackerman Link

Does the goodness of God make you grateful or greedy? Why does it lead to repentance?