One day, Jesus took offense when someone addressed him as good. “Why do you call me good?” he said. “There is none good but God” (Matthew 19:17). We know Jesus lived without sin (Hebrews 4:15), which sounds like “good” to me.Maybe Jesus was speaking from the man’s perspective, that the man had missed understanding the source of all that is good.
I’d like to sit with Jesus and ask what he was talking about. Perhaps he would direct me to Psalm 127:1 and say, “You can build a beautiful house, but it won’t be good unless God is behind that effort. Or maybe he would remind me of those who came saying, “Haven’t we done many wonderful works in your name?” and he says, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity” (Matthew 7:22–23).
I may claim my works are good, but I must be careful. If they are actually self-serving, not suiting the Creator’s purpose, then I’ve made myself useless.