Good vs. Godly

November, 2000
2 minute read

After David, the king Israel, had consolidated his kingdom he desired to build a permanent temple for the Lord in Jerusalem.We read in I Chronicles 17:1-4, however, that the prophet Nathan revealed to David that God would not permit this because David had the blood of war on his hands. In the end, God's servant told David that the building of the temple would be completed by his son, Solomon.

This episode concerning the king's thwarted plan shows us that even our best impulses may not always be in accord with God's will or timetable. For Christians this knowledge provides insight into the sometimes difficult issue of truly accomplishing God's will in our lives because we see that even our "good" deeds may not be good in God's eyes at times.

Of course, it's never a sin to do good but the doing of good in God's service must be regulated by God's will and not our own. For example, Paul the apostle earnestly desired to bring the gospel to Asia where it was certainly needed, but God's plan was to have the "Good News" preached in the west before the east and thus prevented the apostle from going his own way. (Acts 16:6)

The difference, therefore, between something good and something Godly is that the Godly thing is a good thing done according to God's will and purpose by someone who seeks to do that very thing. There are many atheists and God-haters who do a host of good deeds that help people and the environment. But, for a good deed to have an eternal quality and impact on our soul, it must be carried out with the thought of doing God's will in Christ. Otherwise the value is felt only here and only for a little while.