A few days ago, I started my new Bible reading plan. I cracked open my Bible, pen in hand, and immediately found that I was captivated by seven words: “And God saw that it was good.”
These words in the creation story, words that are repeated multiple times throughout, remind us of something extremely important: the world as God created it was good. It wasn’t the giant mess that we see today, this world we live in that’s filled with crooked politicians, extreme poverty, and poor grammar. It was good, in a way we simply cannot fathom.
This has been convicting to me not because of a tendency to hopelessly lament the plight of the poor, or to grumble about politics, or be frustrated anytime someone says “cuz”, but because these words call me back to recognizing the goodness of not only the world God created, but the way in which he created it to function. That humanity was to act as stewards, caretakers of this world, rather than pillagers, yes. But it’s more about the way human relationships were designed to function—in joyful and mutual submission, in a unity that left no room for power struggles, with respect for the equal value and dignity of both men and women that honors the uniqueness of how God has created us all to function.
It’s something I notice when Emily and I struggle to resolve conflict in a healthy way (like several times this weekend when we wound up being more snippy with one another than is necessary). Or when my kids are struggling to get along. Or when I see how people speak of one another on social media (regardless of relationship). And even in how the news celebrates actions, lifestyles and decisions that run contrary to what God has called “good.”
What these words remind me of is that our attitude toward what God has called good—and especially when we call “good” what God has not—is wrong. And it grieves me when I realize how we’ve become so arrogant and presumptuous. How we’ve become so blasphemous as a culture. It weighs heavy whenever I think about it, and when I consider how I have played (and to come degree continue to play) a part in it. When I fail to treat my wife with proper respect, I’m guilty. When my mind entertains ideas that might undermine someone else, I’m guilty. When my failures prevent my children from seeing the picture of the gospel marriage is supposed to represent (Ephesians 5:32), I’m guilty.
I’m guilty. But I’m not hopeless. Recognizing this fact itself is a gift from God. These words that God has repeated multiple times confront me and challenge me, not to weep over my sorry state, but to look to Christ, the one through whom and for whom all these things were made, and celebrate that he is even now making all things new.