The Statesman Benefits from the Undeserved Goodness of GodDownload a PDF of this essay
As we learn to work with God, who is our Supreme Master, the One who rules over our nations, it is essential that we fully understand Him. One essential element is understanding His general goodness to mankind not based upon our particular goodness or our obedience to Him, but because of His love for His creation. This has great consequences for our efforts in administering our nations.
Jesus reminds us that our God generously and broadly pours out goodness upon His creation as a manifestation of His love for His creation, regardless of our attitude toward Him:
He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).
We know this instinctively in our hearts. He already gave us the evidence of His existence and His character through His creation:
What can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20).
Even without anyone teaching us on God’s behalf, we have everything we need to know that He exists and what His character is. But then He added evidence of His goodness. We are reminded:
Does His light not shine on everyone? (Job 25:3)
He did not leave Himself without a witness, since He did what is good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and satisfying your hearts with food and happiness (Acts 14:17).
Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of light (James 1:17).
The correct view is that God, our Creator, cares for us. If it were not for His providing a foundation of goodness, we would face impossible challenges. The sunshine that we take for granted provides a foundation for life, as does the rain and the water. Then, when we begin to think about the uniqueness of the air we breathe in sustaining life, we remember what an amazing Creator we have who created precisely what we need.
Often the word ‘grace’ is used to describe these spontaneous gifts from God to His creation, referring to a gift that is undeserved.
All of this is a part of His undeserved and unmerited love toward us:
We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; His perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what He might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what He might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that He really loves us (1 John 4:18).
As we stand amazed at God’s goodness toward us that is not deserved, there are issues we must consider: Does God withhold that grace when we disobey His clear instructions? Can we push God to withhold that grace by not properly acknowledging it? We are reminded:
Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe His discipline; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, just as a father disciplines the son he delights in (Proverbs 3:11-12).
We know that God does inflict judgment for disobedience. We also know that those who appreciate His goodness do not abuse His grace – His kindness, His love. We can get a feeling for what we take for granted whenever we experience a natural disaster that disrupts that baseline of His goodness. In each case, we will ask: Is this God withholding His goodness and His blessings that we often take for granted? Or is it the work of our evil adversary, the devil?
This has immense consequences for the individual but especially for the governing official attempting to do good for the people. If it were not for His providing a foundation of goodness, we would face insurmountable challenges. The disruption caused at times of natural disaster impacts our governmental priorities and prevents us from implementing the good we had intended. Governing officials are dependent upon His baseline of love and goodness upon which to build efforts for improving the lives of our people. We know His goal for our people is “that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:2).
We need to maximize His blessings added to that baseline of goodness and not challenge Him to withhold His goodness in an effort to gain our attention. We must make sure that our Master knows that we are thankful for His goodness that we do not deserve and do our best to become worthy of His love through our obedience and seeking His forgiveness.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE STATESMAN. There is the issue of individual and national appreciation for His love and His goodness. For example,
How am I showing my appreciation for my Master’s love and goodness for myself first and also for my people?
How am I inspiring all who serve with me to recognize and show appreciation for our Master’s love and goodness?
How am I inspiring my people, who are the recipients of our Master’s kindness, to show appreciation to Him for His love and goodness?
We are reminded:
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever (Psalm 118:1).
Clearly, our Master wishes us as a community to acknowledge our gratefulness to Him for His goodness. Then, He wishes us to make decisions that support His efforts and would be in line with His goals.
Let us strive to become Statesmen who are His instruments to demonstrate and promote His character for the lives of the people.