There is a belief, sometimes unspoken, that God is only good to His faithful. This thinking can lead to a view of God as playing favorites; being uninterested or lacking in compassion; or a cosmic being who engages in mean-spirited punishment. It can also lead to feelings of resentment or shame.
A friend recently wrote that “even the unfaithful have a share in God’s blessings. He is good to we poor sinners.” The Bible teaches that “all good and perfect gifts come down from the Father of Lights” (James 1:17). These gifts are no respecter of persons; they are given freely to all. From cover to cover, the Bible teaches that God is loving and compassionate. Daily life confirms this – for instance, He commands the heavens in order to maintain an environment that sustains life, such as the earth’s distance from the sun which keeps us from freezing or burning up, or the right amount of sunshine and rain to produce a crop. These are as much a display of God’s goodness as is the new job we prayed about, and acquired.
The highest proof of God’s goodness is His free gift of salvation from sin and death. The gift is offered to everyone, but only those who choose to accept it by believing in the name of Jesus can claim the reward of eternal life. Some call this being narrow-minded, exclusive or intolerant. Yet, if we were inside a house engulfed in flames, would we not trust a fireman to guide us through the one path in the burning structure safe enough to traverse? In like manner, we can trust God’s messenger, His only son, Jesus, to lead us along the only road to peace with God.