Have you ever heard someone say this, “Deep down, I know he’s a good person?” They are usually saying this after that person has done something wrong.
If you are a Star Wars fan, you won’t forget Luke Skywalker’s plea to His father, Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi. In the final climactic scene, Luke disables his father in a saber battle and the powerful Emperor takes over the battle, using his electrically charged fingertips to fry Luke like he was a piece of chicken at the Colonel’s house.
Luke yells out, “Father help! I know there is good in you” (my paraphrase). Although Darth Vader was responsible for the death of millions and has, since he was a teen, been a rebellious and bad dude, never-ever showing any good traits or qualities—Luke still believed that there was good inside of him.
Sorry Luke, God has a different idea about goodness.
This scripture verse cuts to the heart with it’s claim No One is Good. The verse gives us God’s perspective on good works. God declares through the Psalmist that there is no one who does good! Jesus echoed these same words to the religious leaders of his day, when they tried to cause Him to stumble. “And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19 )
Self-centered humanity desires to think that the good they do comes from within them. This idea is an attempt to validate their existence, cover up flaws and deny the sin that is in every life.
No one does good! God makes it very clear, He is the source of all goodness. If any one does a good work, that good work has its beginnings in the goodness of God. God starts every good work:
James 1:17 (ESV)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
When the unbeliever or God-hater feels motivated to do a selfless act, it’s the goodness of God influencing them to do what is contrary to their nature. How much more should we as believers be driven to good works? If those who are far from God, does His good works, what of us who are near to Him?
As believers we don’t need a divine calling to do good works. Our Father in heaven starts every Good Work, so take this moment to think about the good works that you can do in your community, church or home.
End Note: Darth Vader does come to the rescue of his son after 6 movies and 20 years, but if we could peek behind the eastern-metaphysical ideas of Star Wars, we would see that God was at work in Darth Vader to do this one act, that was in contradiction of all that he was.