Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
Goodness: Perfect Gifts from the Father
By Evan Nehring
There’s a difference between right and wrong, good and evil, and it matters. Tolerance is a word used strangely today. It’s the bizarre concept that if everyone just accepts everything then we’ll all get along together. That would work out better if there weren't any evil. What we really need is grace. Grace is a variation on tolerance, but it presumes that there are good and evil…and law. Grace without law is chaos. Law without grace is Hitler. Jesus is grace and justice in harmony.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
Sometimes, God’s ways are just too far above for us to understand. Jason taught me a little something about that when he was a toddler. He would cruise around on the furniture, and one of the stops on his living room tour was the TV. Specifically, he would get up there and put finger prints all over the bottom third of the screen and, of course, push all the buttons.
Toddler Jason had a lot of fun pushing buttons, but he was completely unprepared to deal with the consequences of that button-pushing. He’d turn the TV off and then cry because his show was gone. He’d turn the volume up full and get scared because it was so loud. He’d turn the volume down all the way and get confused because it wasn't working properly. He’d change the channel and wonder why it wasn't so interesting anymore. He’d hit the menu button and reprogram the whole system so that nothing would work properly anymore.
That’s why he needed Papa, and that’s why we need God the Father and His loving wisdom. We turn off the good things He’s has called us to do, and we wonder why our life is going nowhere. We crank our lives to the limit with our decisions, and then realize that it’s more than we can handle. We turn the volume down on the good advice from the Bible and then we get confused when things don’t work out. We take the channel that has been programmed especially for us, we change it to something else, and then wonder why we’re so bored with life. We get into the menu of the inner workings of who we are and start messing with things until life is a disaster, and we wonder what happened.
Father God is not just tolerant. He is good.