As I started to read the first chapter of Good or God, I was instantly drawn in. I was compelled and honestly shocked based on the way John Bevere laid out the introduction. What we truly perceive to be as good may not always be of God. OUCH! Generosity, humility, and justice are good! Selfishness, arrogance, and cruelty are evil. The distinction seems pretty straightforward. But do we just draw the line there? Is that all there is to it? If good is so obvious, why does Hebrews 5:14 teach that we must have discernment to recognize it?
Hebrews 5:14 NLT Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. (Strong meat - Solid food pertains to those of maturer years. So it is with the higher doctrines of Christianity. They can be understood and appreciated only by those who are advanced in Christian experience.)
Then we look at what Apostle Paul writes from Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We cannot discern what’s really good for our lives without having our minds renewed. From personal experience, I can totally agree that renewing of my mind (by reading the word and praying) changed my life. The renewing isn’t something that took one time, but it’s continuing daily.
It’s clear that discernment is a key factor in determining what is truly good and what is truly evil. As a Christian, discernment is sooooooooooooooooooooo important!
Discernment- (in Christian contexts) perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.
In other words, what’s truly good is not always clear to our natural thinking, reasoning, or senses. It may be blinding to some, but good and evil cannot always be differentiated on the surface level. Some things that may appear to be good for your life may not actually be good for your life. Some things that appear to be beneficial could actually be harmful things that are packaged to look nice. Be mindful, be playful, and stay watchful.
1 Kings 3:9 "So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
The word of God continues to expose and correct me. My standard of what is good was apparently different from the divine standard of good.
Overall, chapter 1 explains the purpose of this book: to illuminate, through the scriptures and the help of the Holy Spirit, the difference between what is good for your life and what will ultimately be detrimental. If Eve, who was perfect and living in a flawless environment could still be deceived, how much easier is it for those of us with imperfect minds and living in a corrupted world- a skewed society- to be deceived into judging what is damaging to be good?
Book review and direct quotes have been taken from Good or God by John Bevere.