Why Good Girls Finish Last

Good. We use it everyday. It’s a subconscious word of choice. The response to our condition, a requirement for our children, a simple send off among friends.

I’m good. Be a good boy. Have a good day.

It’s such a subtle descriptor, but it packs quite a punch. And somewhere along the way it transforms from a simple adjective to a weapon of mass destruction. Instead of choices and behavior, it wraps itself around our identity.

Good becomes an obligation, an expectation, a yoke that harnesses our freedom.

We want to be good. So we wear it like a costume; we hide behind its mask. Miserable through and through, we can still manage to pull off goodness, can’t we? It’s a form of self-preservation. Good can’t be weak or weary, so we work to avoid any sign of failure.

{Why Good Girls Finish Last } www.simplyforone.net

Here’s the problem with being good: We’re not.

We are sinners. Our efforts to be good are usually undermined by our own flesh. Add in motives, desires, and honest thoughts and goodness doesn’t stand a chance—apart from Christ.

We waste our days trying to be good, when all God asks is that we be honest. (Tweet that!)

We chase after goodness. We want it for ourselves and we expect it of others. We have impossible standards for our entirely imperfect frames and we are sorely disappointed when we miss the self-inflicted mark. We won’t let ourselves off the hook – which usually means we won’t let others off that dangling line either.

God asks that we recognize our condition, accept His prescription, and receive grace. It’s so simple, but so exceedingly difficult for us to understand and nearly impossible for us to grasp in our own strength.

So why not stop trying? We need to stop focusing on our reserves—what we think we should be—and start focusing on renewal—who we are in Christ.

“Don’t live the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what He wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NIRV

 Our goal isn’t good – it’s God:

Unfold a newspaper or watch the five o’clock news and you’ll quickly see man’s definition of goodness, gone wrong. That doesn’t mean we’re all horrible people, but self-evaluating our goodness is subjective at best. We have to shift our definition of good toward Gods. As believers, we don’t live the way the world lives – we live the way God asks us too. That makes us good, because He is good.

Refresh your thinking:

God undoes our sin, but He doesn’t erase our memory. And for many of us that means we wrestle with the past – both the former and the immediate. Maybe you acknowledge that God forgave the sin you first came to Him with, but do you realize He also [completely] forgives the sin you bring Him today…and everyday? God wants to change us every single day – to renew our mind through His word, by His presence, with His Spirit. Let Him transform the way you think. You are good because God makes you that way and nothing is going to change that. (Tweet that!)

Admit your need:

When we are relying entirely on ourselves, it’s safe to say we’ve forgotten about God. And truth. And grace. And that is a very lonely, uphill climb. God is willing to take EVERYTHING we bring Him—the big, small, ugly, and scary—but we have to let go of it in order for Him to set us free. How will you move forward if you keep looking back? There is no shame in admitting how desperately we need God. In fact, dependent on Him is the perfect position for change. Change with God leading is good.

Remember His plan:

“…it is good and pleasing and perfect.” His plan is for us to believe that; to agree with Him. God has the monopoly on goodness. He bought it for us at a very high price because He loves us that much. And He’s not asking us to repay it—not today, tomorrow, or ever. You don’t have to run that race. You can’t win goodness. You don’t have to be perfect, because He already is. Stop striving and find rest in His grace. And when you forget, ask Him to help you remember. His goodness is that good and His goodness is enough.

Have you found grace in the goodness race? Or are you running it right now? I invite you to share your story here, to encourage or be encouraged. 

You can find these words linked up at my favorite spots:  Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Kelly Balarie (#raralinkup), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday), and Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory).

31 thoughts on “Why Good Girls Finish Last

  1. This post reminds me of Emily P. Freeman’s book “Grace for the Good Girl.” It’s taken me a loooong time to get to the point where I can give myself grace when I mess up. I still work on it. I’m so much better at giving it to others than myself. Thanks for this post!

    1. Me too, Alecia. I love to pass grace on, but I forget to leave a little for myself. I’m still learning and I have people around me that hold me accountable too – my grace team. LOL. I’ve seen a lot about Emily’s book – got to get my hands on that one! Thanks for visiting me, friend.

  2. Your post reminds me of Joanna Weaver’s books- Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. It’s such an important truth to remember that “Our goal isn’t good – it’s God.” When we forget that it’s all about striving and self-sufficiency. Visiting from #tellhisstory

  3. Hi Tiffany, we drain ourselves of our sparkle trying to earn that name “good person”. For instance agreeing to something I don’t want to do simply because I want to be called a good person.

    Thank you for your post. I pinned it.

    PS I would suggest you add tags or image “ALT text” to your images. It is easier to pin and then the images have titles already. I hope you understand what I mean?

    Blessings to you friend.

    1. Hi Ifeoma! So true, we can work really hard at being good just to please those around us and instead we lose a little of ourselves. Which can be a very slippery slope. And thanks for the tip on the graphic. :)

  4. Hi Tiffany,
    I love this. So beautifully written. God used this tonight to remind me to accept His grace as I pursue His good. I’m dealing with some health issues that are causing me to fall behind in many areas and I was allowing the enemy to whisper guilt into my heart instead of the loving grace God wants to wrap me in. Thank you for being His messenger tonight!
    Blessings and smiles,

    1. I’m so glad that the Lord spoke grace over you tonight, Lori. Guilt stinks! The enemy is a quite the deceiver especially when we are feeling weary. I’ve been in the falling behind season before and it’s SO hard, but I’ve learned that health is more important than being caught up and usually the “stuff” has a way of waiting for us, doesn’t it?! ;) I pray God brings healing and rest for you and just the helping hands you need. Sending you a ((hug)).

    1. So true, Valerie. Any measure of goodness we have comes by the power of His Spirit at work in us. It’s certainly something I’m grateful for each day. Thanks so much for visiting me today.

  5. I had a similar thought to Lisa above: just yesterday I read the guest post at Holly Barrett’s place, and she talked about realizing we’re sinners. We’re not just “good” Bible girls. We need God just as much as the next sinner. God is reminding me of something important here today!

    1. It feels odd (although honest), but admitting that we are sinners is freeing. It puts us under the very necessary banner of God’s forgiveness and grace…and that’s the best place to be, right? Thanks for being here, Betsy.

  6. So much truth to chew on here, friend. I wear that “good” mask often. I’m reminded of Plumb’s song, Exhale, where she says, “It’s okay to not be okay.” How true that is. Thanks for always bring me into the depths of his grace, friend. xoxo

    1. I love that song, Abby. It is okay to admit that we aren’t okay, but I know I have a really hard time with that. I don’t want to invite others in, but I end up cutting myself off from community and more so, grace. That’s what makes our authentic community so priceless…we can be “not okay” together and with Him. Love you, friend.

  7. “We waste our days trying to be good, when all God asks is that we be honest.” Powerful words here! Such a blessing to be reminded of this also: “God wants to change us every single day – to renew our mind through His word, by His presence, with His Spirit. Let Him transform the way you think. You are good because God makes you that way and nothing is going to change that.” OH, the sweet grace of Jesus! Beautiful, such beautiful truth!

  8. I love your title, and I love your message. Yeah, I’ve been the girl who tries so hard to be good that she is worn out and, um not so good, to those closest to her. I’m learning to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies and embrace God’s grace. We’re all going to make mistakes. It’s what we do afterward that really matters. When I seek to be authentic, that’s when God is best able to work through me. When I seek to be good (I usually end up tacking on “enough”), I always fall short.

    And this: “We need to stop focusing on our reserves—what we think we should be—and start focusing on renewal—who we are in Christ.”. Yeah, that spoke to me too. :)

    Thanks for your wisdom today, Tiffany!

    1. So true, Jeanne. Sometime we spin in circles beating ourselves up over our mistakes rather than just going to God and admitting we made a mess, then following His lead to clean it up. He is so gracious to receive us and forgive our flaws…luckily those closest to us usually do the same. :) Thanks for joining in the conversation…I’m always blessed! xo

  9. Tiffany, I love this post! Especially this quote, “Stop striving and find rest in His grace. And when you forget, ask Him to help you remember. His goodness is that good and His goodness is enough.” I so agree…truly, all is grace…many blessings to you ❤️

  10. Tiffany, you’re being used in the thread. He’s weaving a new covering w/several bloggers’ threads this week. The covering I used this weekend, the man-made version, didn’t work. Big surprise?! It’ time for a new one and some “on my knees” time with the Lord to sort things out. Thanks for being an encourager. xo

    1. Well, that delights me to hear, Kristi. The Holy Spirit never ceases to amaze me and when He uses me, well that’s humbling. We’ve all been driven to our knees before, and it takes courage to go there, but we rise much stronger then when we started. Praying He clears the path for you, friend. Know that I kneel beside you. xo

  11. Okay, this is like the 4th time I’ve heard/seen/read something on God wanting honesty from us. I get it, God, I do. Thank you for these affirming and releasing words Tiffany!

    1. Oh Lisa, I know exactly how you feel. I’m convinced it’s because God is reminding us that time is short and there just isn’t time for pretense and pedestals. He wants all of us! And then He wants us to give all of Him away to the many who still need Him. Here’s to laying out our truth before the One who already knows us and loves us anyways! Thanks for visiting me – so glad that we can join in encouraging each other!

  12. Our goal isn’t good – it’s God. Yes, yes, yes. Learning this has been such a huge part of my faith journey because it goes against everything my natural self wants to think and do. So grateful God truly works all things together for good – his good and our good when we’re abiding in Christ. Good stuff, friend. xoxo

    1. I hear you, Kristin. I’m a natural born people-pleaser and approval-seeker. It’s in my bones! So God has really had to do the work of breaking me of that – He still is. There is such freedom in acknowledging that I’m not all that – ha! That God knows my frailty and it’s a “good” thing to lean on Him with everything. Thanks for visiting me, friend. Love you bunches and I’m drinking in the FB pics of Rachel – just a GIANT blessing is such a sweet, little package.

  13. Our goal isn’t good, it’s God. I need to read those words over and over to internalize them in my own life. God is asking us to walk this road with Him and to follow Him unconditionally. He is leading the way and He should be first in our lives. It should not be about making an impression to show off to the around us. Praying we are all true to what God is calling us and how He has wired us. Thank you for these words today! They are so needed and you shared them beautifully.

    1. Thank you, Mary. Love your thoughts here – we don’t have to be compelled to be something we’re not when God knows us and loves us as we are. The fact that He doesn’t leave us the way He finds us, but continues to transform us more into His likeness, well it’s such a testament to His goodness…which is the best kind to pursue! Always so blessed when you visit and join the conversation. Hugs!

  14. All God asks us is to follow Him. The closer to Him we try to walk, the closer to “good” we get. Love your point that we don’t have to be perfect because God already is!

    1. Isn’t that a relief, Kathryn? I love that we have such an incredible example to follow in our Savior but that He doesn’t require perfection for us to know Him intimately. Thanks for being here today!

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