The Goodness of the Good News

blog desire good news gospel Feb 09, 2022

The word gospel means “good news.” There is no better life than the one we discover as we follow the counsel and the way of Jesus. He understands the goodness of the world God has made and how to live well in it in a way that is unparalleled. As his followers, we seek to help people understand that Jesus knows what he’s talking about when he says that his way is a way of life—a satisfying and beautiful life. It is a way of great joy, deep peace, expansive love, and substantial goodness. It is not arbitrary or thin religion.


What’s the best way for us to help people feel the goodness of that news? Too often, the gospel has been communicated in a way that feels oppressive or life-denying rather than freeing and life-giving. We don’t need to “should” or “ought” people into welcoming the gospel’s good news. We are inviting people to a Person and a people, not a Judge and a jury.


In addition to helping others hear the goodness of the good news, which is only deeply possible by the working of God’s Spirit, we can also help them sense the emptiness of self-centered choices and ways that disregard God. 


We live in a world that defines the good life in ways that aren’t always good. Too many people believe that freely doing whatever they feel like in the moment leads to the good life. Someone who is an alcoholic may believe that what they really want is another drink, when it is more likely that they long for joy or peace or comfort or freedom. They will not find these in a bottle. Those of us who are not trapped in such an ever-diminishing, destructive cycle can easily see the truth. But what unhealthy cycles of thinking are we ourselves trapped in? What beliefs about the good life have we embraced without questioning and failed to see the emptiness of?


Left to myself, do I really know what I truly, deeply desire? Can I distinguish between the mist of momentary feelings and the rootedness of deep and holy desires? On my own, I often do not discern the difference.


One of the great tools we have in communicating the goodness of the gospel is its growing goodness displayed in our own lives. Do our levels of joy, peace, energy, and care recommend to others the goodness of the good news? If we tell others, “Follow me because I’m following Jesus,” would they feel invited or resistant? Do we have credibility when we tell them about the bad news of making decisions and following directions that are empty of God? Are our own lives becoming good news—more full of grace, peace, and gentleness? Is the reality of God with us and God in us deepening and broadening?


For Reflection:

  • In what way has the message of Jesus felt like good news to you?
  • Are there ways you’ve heard the gospel communicated that didn’t feel good?


Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash