Professor Lanny Hubbard shared a message on what it means to Live a Good Life. Below is the accompanying notes to the full message which you can listen to on our podcast here. Enjoy!
Isaiah 1:17 says that God’s people are to learn to do good. This means that their understanding of what “good” is a process. It is not immediately intuitive. People increase in their understanding of good throughout their lives. How does this take place? It occurs by learning to see how the attribute of “good” can be worked into many areas of their life. From the Hebrew and Greek languages, we learn that the interpretation of “good” is very broad. It applies to many aspects of life and in each area the individual must learn how to apply it. The following is a list of various ways that “goodness” is applied to these areas of life.
- In a practical way: Goodness is seen in how something is managed. An activity is good when it is performed efficiently and things involved in an activity are managed well.
Gen 2:9- The trees that God created made good fruit
Luke 19:17- The servant administered for the master well
Question: Are we efficient with the time and skills we are given? Do we manage our lives well?
- In an esthetic way: Goodness is seen when something is pleasant, beautiful, desirable, and appealing. It is when an activity of life emits a sense of health and well-being.
Gen 24:16- She was beautiful
Is 56:5- A good name is desirable
Question: Do our lives make God attractive to the lost world? Is He beautified by how we live?
- In a qualitative way: This describes any activity of life that has worth and value in it. It describes an activity that is worthy of the time and energy put into it. It is also free from defects that would diminish the value of what was done.
Gen 1:12- The gold of the land is good
Ex 2:2- Moses was a good baby
Question: Was our day worth living? Did we do things that have lasting value?
- In a moral way: this describes any activity that is done in a pure and upright way. It is something that is noble and deserves respect.
1Kings 8:36- People needed to be taught the good life.
1Thes 5:21- Hold fast to what is good.
Question: Are we upright people who uphold truth and justice in our actions? Do we reflect a good God?
- In a philosophical way: It describes a life that is lived with the overarching principles of life. It is in harmony with the concepts of truth. It is a life free from contradictions and inconsistencies.
Ecc 3:22 & 8:15 There is a life that is good and consistent with the reality we experience.
Question: Am I consistent in how I live? Do my actions and stated beliefs coincide?
- In a theological way: It is a life consistent with the nature of God. This life reflects that attributes of God that can be communicated to mankind.
Mat 19:17- There is none good but God (Mark 10:18)
Question: Does my life reflect the nature and attributes of God? (Goodly=godly)
- In a social way: Goodness is seen in “good works”. These are things done for the benefit of other people. It is seen in acts of generosity and caring of others. It does not expend one’s energy just for a person’s own benefit.
Mat 5:16- let men see your good works and glorify your Father.
1Tim 5:10- they are to have a reputation of good works (helping others)
Question: Does my life benefit the people I come in contact with? Do I help the world be a better place to live?
- In a technical way: Something is good when it functions consistently with what it was designed for.
Gen 1- Every day of creation is characterized by being “good”. Things functioned according to a plan.
Question: Do I function in a way that is consistent with God’s purpose for my life? Are the reasons I do things the same as God would hope them to be?
This list shoes how goodness can touch many areas of our lives. Together they help make up the “good life”.