It’s safe to assume the human race over uses the word “good.” We use it to describe our moods, our attitudes, our dispositions, our feelings on certain issues, our physical state of being, and/or the physical state of our environments. When you really think about it, we use “good” in hundreds of different contexts.
According to Dictionary.com, the word good means to be “morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious.” Have you ever thought about how this definition came to be? As a society, how did we decide that good was going to stand for what is morally excellent or righteous? Heck, who is to say what is morally excellent and righteous?
Lately, the sermons at Midtown Fellowship in Columbia, South Carolina have really evoked deep thought and meaning in my life. More importantly, they’ve really inspired me to reflect, make meaning, and write what’s on my heart. Today, Pastor Adam was continuing his talk on Galatians, and somewhere in his speech he made a comment about how we perceive what is good and what is not good. In summary, Pastor Adam said that as a society we make meaning of what’s good by comparing ourselves to those whom are not good. He states that,”what is weak, strong, and good is only defined by whom we surround ourselves with.”
Now, call me crazy, but I found that to be the most profound and eye-opening statement. We are constantly comparing ourselves to each other; consciously or unconsciously making ourselves out to be more strong or “good” than each other. Sometimes we even compare ourselves to each other making ourselves seem inadequate or incapable, but why? Why are we always in a state of comparison?
—->I wrote the top half of this blog over a month ago, but saved it in my drafts and never published it. This morning, I revisited my prior thoughts with the intent of bringing this post full circle. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find the right words to really drive my point home, but I do want to challenge my readers to think about themselves and think about others. Do you compare yourself to others around you? If so, why? How does it leave you feeling?
Trust me, we all do it! Like I said earlier, we often do it unconsciously. However, in those moments when we find ourselves at an all-time low of self-esteem and self-worth, we need to reflect on what made us feel that way in the first place. (Let me tell you, insecurity is the enemy of intimacy.) Then, we need to re-prioritize our hearts and minds and turn to Jesus. A heart that faces Jesus never feels unworthy or less than. Whether you identify as Christian or not, I challenge you to change your heart. Turn to your beliefs and have faith that you have an intentional and unique purpose on this earth. Don’t compare your walk of life to another’s walk of life because you’ll never reach your fullest potential. Listen to your heart, embrace your belief system, and learn from others… but never compare yourself to others.
2 thoughts on “Defining good.”
Hi Courtney – didn’t know you had started grad school at USC. I went there for my PhD. Hope you like Columbia.
You are wise to recognize the folly in comparing ourselves too much to other people. Our standards for thought, action, and word should be based on God’s view, not a human’s! Do I fear man, or do I fear God? That’s a question I must ask myself regularly!
Hi Jody, sorry it’s taken me ages to respond! I am at the USC getting my master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs. I absolutely love it! Go Gamecocks! How is UT? I really miss Tampa.