sermon: Seeking God's Will (Part Five) : Goodness
Wisdom in What Is Good
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 29-Oct-11; Sermon #1072; 80 minutes
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the writing craft, remembers that one of the unwritten rules in style is that the writer should not use the same word over and over again. In vernacular English, we do not edit our words as much and we may tend to use useless or meaningless filler expressions. If we use filler expressions, our speech is not refined or discriminating. Words such as 'nice,' 'interesting,' and 'good' are often used as thoughtless phatic communion, sometimes having contradictory meanings. The Hebrew word tob , indicating happy, joyful, or pleasant, has the same connotative range as English, while the Greek synonyms provide some different nuances, including "beneficial" in effect, "excellent intrinsically," and "perfect for its purpose." The good tree in Matthew 7 and the faithful servant in the Parable of the Talents were good because they fulfilled their purpose, doing what God designed them to do. Likewise, God has given us many spiritual gifts and expects us to be good stewards of these resources. God alone, at this time, has intrinsic goodness, in which everything is beneficial in every way, even though initially it may not seem that way. Jesus learned sterling character through trials and suffering. In I Timothy 4:4, 'good' refers to a quality which is intrinsically valuable because of its special design. Paul commends works which everyone would consider ethically good and beneficial. Everything God does fits that category, including temporary punishment that brings about ultimate, permanent good. God employs goodness when he shakes us out of complacency and directs us toward repentance. God's goodness is there to take advantage of if we trust Him. We have to be learn to be wise in what is good, realizing that goodness goes beyond the keeping of a group of rules, but requires godly discernment.
Agathosune Agathos Beneficial Calos Chrestos Chrestotes Craft of writing Discriminating person Ephesians 5:17 Filler words I Timothy 4:4 Generous God's goodness God's severity God's wrath 'Good' Good fruit Good man Good works Goodness Grammar police Hebrews 5:7-9 Honest 'Interesting' Kind ness and gentleness Language in the hands of the masses Language in the mouths of the masses Like Luke7:36-50; 8:15 Matthew 7:17; 25:19-21; 19:16-17 Meaninglessness Merriam-Webster Moral goodness Moral and spiritual lesson Morally righteous 'Nice' Oxford Dictionary Noble and good Parable of the sower Parable of the Talents Pleasing Proverbs 3:27 Psalm 31:19 Refined speech Relationship with God Relationships with other people Rich young ruler Romans 11: 22-23; 16:19 Sunsets Thesaurus Titus 2:6 Tob Trials True 'Um' Upright Using same word twice Very Wise in what is good You know
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