The Goodness of Man:
I always question the basic goodness of mankind. Being good is not an automatic quality; I believe that we have to work at being good. Now, before you jump all over me, let me explain. With Scripture, we’ve been entrusted with some of the most powerful stories ever told. How we harness that power, whether for good or evil, oppression or liberation, changes everything.
There are times that a man will take the route of pleasure and ease, before he opts for the correct thing to do, or the good thing to do. It’s in our nature. Think about this: you get a windfall of $500.00; you don’t need it, but it came your way, maybe by winning a bet. Do you buy that new flat-screen tv, or do you use the money for a charitable purpose? Think a minute.
Now, I would like to have a new flat-screen tv for my office, but I don’t need it. Do I use the money for some other purpose, or do I conclude that I really could put this to better use, donating it to a local food bank, or some such entity?
I know a family who won a major lottery; yes, they paid their bills and changed their lifestyle, but they have also donated millions to charitable programs to assist the less fortunate in their community. Not all of us would do that.
Personally, there are two instances where I believe that I might do the same. The first happened several years ago, when I won a 50-50 at our local high school football game. The person selling the ticket guilted me into buying one, saying that I could give half to our church. I won; I gave the entire $200.00 to our church. Would I do this if I won a lottery? Well, maybe not all, but I would a lot.
I also subscribe to several faith-based journals, and, periodically, they send out surveys, with the promise that if you respond, your name will be placed in a drawing for $100.00 prize; I never put my name in for the prize; the religious organization should keep the money for their ministries. Of course, if I won, I could give it to one of my church’s ministries. To me the difference is not worth the bother.
I remember the verse from Proverbs, and I paraphrase: most men will proclaim their own goodness, but a true man of faith is hard to find.
So, what makes us good? I honestly believe that most of us in our hearts are good, but many times we fail to live up to the standards we set.
One final thought: in the Bible book, the Wisdom of Solomon, there is a statement about women; verse 7:26 says, and this is exact: “For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.