The Good Place – Part 4 – The Answer

Posted on December 17, 2019


“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”  Stephen Schwartz


Again, big spoiler alert.  If you missed the back story to this series of blogs, go back to the first one.  The whole thing will make more sense.  Here it is:


The title for Season 4, Episode 9 of The Good Place is “The Answer.”  To set this up, we need to paint the scene a bit.  It is a lot easier to follow if you have been watching this for 3 ½ seasons, but I will try to give this to you concisely.

Chidi, knowing that his memory is going to be erased for the final experiment to prove that human beings can improve, writes himself a note to be given to him when his memories are restored.  Chidi, who has spent both his life (and afterlife) searching for answers, writes, “There is no ‘answer.’  Eleanor is the answer.”

Upon being awakened, Chidi asks for the note back.  Chidi (who in life wrote a 3000 page dissertation arriving at no conclusion) asserts, “I think it might be some of the best writing I have ever done.”  We, the viewers, get to see the note, and Chidi’s and Eleanor’s gazes meet.  The episode ends.


For my Christian readers, hear me out here before asserting that I am suggesting an idolatrous relationship with your mate.

A couple of decades ago, a friend of mine was weighing a life decision and praying about what to do.  My friend had a dream of Jesus coming to him and saying, “Follow me.”   My friend told the Lord I still need to know what to do.  Jesus repeated, “Follow me.”  My friend’s interpretation of the dream was that either choice was fine.  His calling was to follow Jesus in whichever path he chose.

Whether this dream was my friend’s own psyche or the Lord communicating with him is not for me to say.  How God’s sovereignty interacts with human free will is way above my pay grade.  My best guess is there is a good deal of latitude in following God’s will for our lives.  We may have multiple paths that we could choose and still be in His will for us.  In that regard, there is no “answer.”  Or at least not one that wraps up this thing called life into a neat little package with a bow on it.

Let’s go back to the very beginning.  Before the fall, the first and only time that something was not good was for the man to be alone.  God’s solution for this was to create a marriage.  After that, it was very good.

One more digression…  If your church service has a children’s time where the pastor or lay leader talks with the kids, whenever that person asks the children a question, it is a safe bet that the answer is always, “Jesus.”  Let’s accept that and look at how we apply that in our lives.


Looping back around to Eleanor and Chidi.  Granted, these two characters are not married to each other.  It is, after all, a secular show.  Having said that, in every reality and scenario these two characters are subjected to (without having known about the previous ones), they always end up together.

What adds significance to the relationship is the way in which each has grown through the relationship.  Back in season one, everything we learn about Eleanor’s life on Earth leads us to conclude that in her life she never did anything for the benefit of someone else.  She is proud of being the top telemarketer of fake medicine to senior citizens.  She has no concern for anyone but herself.  Her moral code is exclusively “what is best for Eleanor.”  Over the course of the series, both Eleanor and Chidi have grown as individuals.  They are still by no means ideal characters, but they have worked through many of their shortcomings.

The net of that is to lead Chidi to the realization that there is no “answer” in the way he had hoped.  But for him, his relationship with Eleanor has been the most significant relationship of his life.  Together they accomplish more than either could alone.  She learned how to put the welfare of others ahead of her own immediate needs.  He learned the answer of what was important to him.


Our transformation and sanctification are the Holy Spirit’s job.  We can’t do it for ourselves.  However, it does require some cooperation from us (1 Thess. 5:19).  I would assert that this happens more in relationship with other human beings than in isolation.  I would further suggest that the most significant relationship in this process is your relationship with your mate.  There is a sense in which your partner is “the answer.”  There are plenty of other relationships in your life where it doesn’t have to be you.  If you don’t do it, someone else can.  In your relationship with your spouse, you are in a unique position to reflect the love (agape) of Christ.  You are uniquely positioned to help each other grow.

I remember a t-shirt that was floating around Christian circles about 20 years ago that read, “God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things.  By now I am so far behind that I will never die.”  God may have called you to do any number of things.  The one place it most needs to be you that does it is in your marriage.  Love each other really well and it is a foretaste of heaven.