Happy Saturday to you!
I wanted to talk to you about goodness and how it relates to us flawed human beings. Specifically, I wanted to talk about goodness in relation to Christianity. In a world full of insecure and imperfect people, this is a topic worthy of continuous discussion.
Being a “good Christian” does not mean reading the entire Bible in a year or fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. Although, those are wonderful actions that can empower your journey, they are merely works. Works cannot save your soul. There are plenty of people who study their Bibles consistently, yet dishonor God in how they treat others, as well as their own selves. I am sure you know of someone who faithfully attends a house of worship but struggles with hatred or greed. We’re not here to bash anyone. This post is just to re-evaluate how you look at the word, good.
Being a “good Christian” consists of having faith in God. Faith is complete trust or confidence. The good Christian out of his or her complete confidence in God obeys God’s instructions [unwaveringly]. The good Christian out of complete trust in God loves his or her enemies. The good Christian does not retaliate or seek his or her own vengeance. The good Christian loves God; therefore, he or she takes up the challenge of righteous living. The good Christian takes on the difficult task of warring against the desires of his or her own flesh because of the example set by Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us, was tempted in every way possible. Yet, in love and obedience to the Father, Jesus never gave in to sin. Side note: Christianity is a monotheistic religion. In another post, we can discuss the triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). The good Christian believes God, accepts salvation in Christ, and battles [daily] against the flesh. We love when it is not reciprocated. We give when we feel like being selfish. We hope when life seems desolate. We forgive those who hurt us and seek out the good of our oppressors. We humble ourselves when we are wrong, at the expense of our pride and dignity. And we are never put to shame. God always responds to our faith in astounding ways. We often call God’s response to our faith, miracles.
You can be a good Christian, too. Goodness is not measured by the frequency of your church attendance or consistency of your prayer life. Goodness in not achieved by joining the praise and worship team or knowing every hymn ever composed. Reminder: Being a good Christian is obedience spurred by love for and faith in God. When you love someone, don’t you seek to do what makes that person happy? If you [truly] love yourself, you would love God. The good Christian knows that God is the One who wants what is best for everyone. God wants the best for your life. God wants you to overcome your struggle with prejudice, greed, self-loathing, etc. God wants to heal your brokenness. God wants to bring reconciliation and peace to your life.
So, begin today! Search your heart. Find out whether or not you trust God. If you do not trust God, talk to Him. Tell God why you doubt Him. Ask God the questions that you are afraid to ask Him. God will respond to your sincerity. He will reveal the depths of His love for you. Then, you will begin to go through the transformation that will increase your faith and lead you to goodness.
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. 4 You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. 7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. 10 I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. 11 But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves! 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.