Not Being Good and Being Good

“Need a coffee?” I asked a friend. “No,” he replied, I’m good.”

Good, really? A person is “good?” I recall a gospel story in which a man approaches Jesus and addresses him as “good teacher.” Jesus corrects him and tells him that only the Father is good. If Jesus himself will not take on the title “good” who are we to call ourselves good?

People often mistake the word “well” for “good” as well. I get eye rolls at my local bank. I ask the tellers how they are and if they tell me that they are “good” I ask them if they are also “well.” Why do we confuse the words “good” and “well” and why do we go around thinking that we are “good” when only God the Father is good?

When someone tells me that they are “good” I remind them that only God is good but I contradict myself as I often tell people to “be good.” That is a silly way I have of saying “goodbye” or “farewell.” It is a vestige from my college days when a friend of mine and I were reminding one another not to do stupid or destructive things. We had to remind ourselves to “be good.” I got into the habit of saying “be good” quite often.

Recently our Consistory Vice-President, Elder Phil Melius, and also a ministerial colleague from a nearby town, have been informing me that I should not be telling people to “be good” when I also instruct them that only God is good. I hate to admit it, but they are right. Why should I set people up to fail? Why tell people to be good when none of us can possibly be good?

I’m need a new way to bid people farewell and I need you help in coming up with a new way of doing this. Please comment on this blog and let me know your preference for my farewell greetings. Here are my greetings that I am considering:

Be Faithful

Be Blessed

Walk with God

Be Better


Peace To You

What do you think? How should I give farewell greetings? I solicit your comments.

2 thoughts on “Not Being Good and Being Good”

  1. I would be pleased with all of these examples, but my particular favorite is “Walk with God” because it reminds me to do just that. What wonderful humans we would be if we just “walked” through our day with The Lord!


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