By Scott Pauley | April 17th, 2020

I often hear it said, “They are good people.” This is a subjective statement, of course, because it is filtered by the person’s standard of goodness. We know from Scripture that “there is none that doeth good” (Romans 3:12). The Apostle Paul, by any measurement, a good man, testified, “In me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18).

If there is anything good in any of us it must be Jesus! Only the Holy Spirit can produce goodness in the life of a sinner (Galatians 5:22). Still, we understand what is meant when someone says that a particular man or woman is a good person. They are nice. Kind perhaps. Gracious. But there is an inherent danger in this…

Niceness is not the same as holiness or truthfulness. Sin and Satan can present themselves in a nice package. Christ came full of grace and truth.

Churches and preachers are often measured by their “goodness.” They are kind people. He is pleasant to listen to. The meetings are enjoyable. All the while forgetting that Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Friends are often chosen on this principle. How often have I heard a young person say, “I have fun with them.” This is not enough! The best test of a good friend is: Do they make me want to be a better Christian?

Indeed there is a danger in being around good people who are not godly people. Lukewarm Christians can inoculate others with their watered down faith. Remember that everything reproduces after its own kind.

As you choose your friendships and fellowships beware of the arbitrary, changeable standard of perceived goodness. I have been meditating lately on all of the places in the Old Testament where God tells His people to use a measuring line. It is evident that God measures differently than we do! He measures by love, and by likeness to Jesus. How do you measure up? Measure by the unchanging plumbline, or measuring rod, of God’s Word. Only He is truly good.

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