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.
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).