Just because something is beautiful and interesting doesn’t mean it’s good: Acts 17:16

God Running is a place for anyone who wants to love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.

In our last post from the book of Acts we saw how Paul, left to himself there in Athens, sought out people to engage with. If you’re interested you can learn more here: Something I Noticed About Paul–Acts 17:15-17.

In today’s post I just want to share one verse and say just one thing about that verse.

Acts 17:16:

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

Acts 17:16

The city of Athens was unrivaled in beauty at this time. It’s architecture was (and still is) spectacular. And a big part of that beauty was the statues. There were statues everywhere. Statues of the pagan gods. Some streets were lined with statues. There were shrines with statues. And many of the buildings had pillars adorned with the head of Hermes. But, all these statues, they were idols.

In our passage we see Paul’s not concerned about the beauty. Paul’s concern is for the impact these idols had on the souls of the people of Athens.

And that’s a great reminder:

Just because something is beautiful and interesting doesn’t mean it’s good.

Alex Flinn


When I wrote, “Just because something is beautiful and interesting doesn’t mean it’s good.” I didn’t realize someone had already written almost exactly that same statement. But it’s such an obvious maxim, I thought I better search for it. Apparently Alex Flinn, a young adult fiction author wrote in one of her books: “Just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s good.” Full disclosure, I don’t know anything about Alex Flinn or her books. That being said, the statement is undeniably true, and I think, well put.

Image of black widow spider by Ben Collins — Creative Commons

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Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)

Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.

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  • How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
  • How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
  • How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
  • How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
  • How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.

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A life of loving like Jesus.

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