Who is Good, really? Jesus said, ‘Only God is good‘, and so he shines a light on our own badness. All of humanity fails the test. At this point, those who reject the Christian faith seem clear: That Christianity is all about beating yourself up. It destroys self-esteem. Who can live like that, snivelling for forgivenss all the time? Even psaychologists might warn against it. Madness? maybe – so it would be, if identifying ourselves to the core as corrupt and broken doesn’t lead us straight to the Cross of Jesus Christ, where we discover how precious and rescued we really are.
(Well here’s an opportunity for me to do my own FMF on a typo again, this one might have been written entirely on the subject of Food. But I’ll get with the programme!)
I’m living in a culture that doesn’t like to commit to GOOD. Black and White isn’t the done way to look at the world nowadays, it’s all relative. They say, Let’s not offend anyone by nailing our colours to the mast.Let’s not be bold, or confident in anything as radical as Truth. But we know where that ends. If there’s only more true and less true, nothing is true.
If there’s only better and worse, maybe we can kid ourselves about ‘good’ and ‘bad’. It’s all relative.
My misdeeds could be reinterpreted as ‘not the best thing I did today’, rather than truly ‘bad’. ‘Worse’ not ‘Wrong’.
This subtle shift is devastating. We find ourselves losing something so much more, if we redefine Good and Bad. If we lose the commitment to say ‘Bad’ is ‘Bad’, or ‘Sin’ is ‘Sin’, then we lose the chance to say to God, ‘I was wrong’ and remain forever in a place of excuses, ‘That wasn’t my best day.’
Just having a bad day and hoping God’s going to understand isn’t going to get us into heaven.
This week, I was entering into the relief offered in John Eldredge’s book ‘The Utter Relief of Holiness: How God’s goodness frees us from everything that plagues us’. It is an invitation into the relief of saying, ‘I’m wrong, God, You’re right.’ ‘You’re Good, I’m bad to the core.’ And in that place of giving up striving to keep it all together, we fall into the hands of God. They’re merciful hands. He really is Good, and he gives us His Goodness.
No amount of self-effort or personal theatrics comes close.