Monday, February 24, 2014

Love the good...

Week 9:

Amos 5:14-15 14 Seek good, not evil, that you may live.  Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.  15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.  Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Through my years of parenting, I have heard Christian child rearing experts talk about teaching our children to love the good.  In doing so, we will build a moral warehouse in our children’s heart.  Loving the good is not just for children.  I can benefit from loving the good as well. 

For me and my profession, I spend a lot of time redirecting the negative.  What happens for me is that I tend to focus on the negative.  I catch myself demanding perfection in many aspects of my life with little grace for imperfection.  I notice myself seeing only what is incorrect and negative and not focusing on the positive and things that are right.  In fact, as I do some reflection, I notice that negative is a small percentage of what is really going on.  Yet, I allow this negative to demand most of my attention. 

For the most part, I feel like I do love the good but do not focus much on the good.  So, my question to myself would be, “Do I really love the good or just love the idea of good?”  If I am focused on the negative most of the time, it is hard to have a love for the good.  I am clouded by the evil.  I do hate evil, yet I let it be a focus for me.  I see evil every day in our society.  I am bothered by it.  I judge people’s character by it.  Yet, there is very little I can do about the evil.  I can speak against it.  I can teach those around me to avoid it.  However, only God can defeat the evil.  Still, I focus on how bad things are and let it affect my emotions, judgments, and decisions.

This passage reminds me how I am to love the good.  I am to seek the good.  It is life.  The negative sucks the life out of me.  Where there is good, God is nearby.  It is good for me to hate evil but not focus on it.  For me, to love the good is to focus on what is good.  I’ve been working on my practice of trying to “Catch them doing something good.”   Overcoming the remnant of focusing on the negative is a difficult task.  However, as I am intentional about catching the good, I notice the good things more. This reminds me of Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” 

One other piece that has helped me to love the good is the practice of looking at the core of the person.  He/she may have taken part in something evil, yet he/she is still good at the core of his/her being.  God’s love is still flowing toward his/her life.  When I see the good in a person, it helps me to separate the evil deeds from the character of that person.  This fits the old adage, “Love the sinner and hate the sin.”  I know that this phrase is quite overused; yet it is important to see into the person like Jesus did.  I must condemn the evil and point out the choice of the person while still loving him/her.  I also can be there to walk alongside the person as he/she deals with the consequences of the choice.  This helps me to love the good and see the good.  And, hopefully I have helped them see the good that God has placed inside of them as well.  It is good to recognize our poor choices and even feel some convicting guilt to move us back toward the good.  However, a continual shame and withdrawal of love causes a person to believe he/she is evil at his/her core and believe there is no hope. 

Seeking the good, loving the good, noticing the good versus focusing on the negative, following the evil, and condemning the person brings life.  This practice brings life for my soul as I focus on the positive.  This practice brings life for the other person’s soul as I love him/her for who he/she is and not for what he/she does.  I am challenged to love the good in this way.


1.      What is the negative in your life that you focus upon?
2.      What are some of the positives that you may be missing in the cloud of negative?
3.      How does loving the good play out for you in your life?
4.      In what ways can you better seek the good?
5.      What will help you to focus on the positive?
6.      This week, keep a record of how often you focus on the negative versus how often you focus on the positive.  At the end of the week, bring this list before God and ask His guidance and blessing on you going forward.

Click HERE to purchase Weekly Devotional Thoughts: Weekly Applications of God’s Word on Amazon Kindle and write a review.
Don't forget to visit my Amazon links.  General purchases:  Click on the Banner at the top of the blog.  For a list of my favorites go to:


  1. “Do I really love the good or just love the idea of good?" That's pretty powerful. Am I willing to seek the Good in my life, or am I just into talking about it? A great reminder, thanks.

    1. Yes, I catch myself liking the idea of doing good without following through. Telling on myself a bit here.