Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm Good

"I'm as good as any of those people up there in your church, preacher." He had been a generous man all of his life, and didn't like it when anyone told him he needed a Savior to save him from his sin. Could it be that the greatest enemy of salvation is a man's belief in his own goodness? Is it possible to convince someone of their need for a Savior if they are convinced they are already good enough? Maybe that's one reason Jesus gave such a strange response when a young man called him good, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." (Mk 10:18)

I believe a friend of mine who is the early stages of Alzheimers has been sent to remind me that the only goodness in me, or about me, or around me is the goodness of God. Every Sunday he asks me, "How are you?" To which I usually reply, "Pretty good." And, to which he answers, "That's not what Scripture says. Scripture says there is only One good." He is right.

None of us is really good. The only goodness we have is placed in us, done through us, made possible only by our faith in Christ and His Spirit in us. Whenever we think we're good, we are really missing the boat, and a chronic belief that we are good may indicate we aren't even on the boat. In short, the only One who is good is God, and the only goodness we will ever have is a gift from Him to all those who are born again by faith in Christ.

This isn't some sort of spiritual self-degradation or self-abuse. This is the reality that sets us free. We need to hold onto the fact that all our goodness is filthy compared to Him. When we do get it, thankfulness fills our hearts and lives and we begin to live a life of worship and witness that calls attention to the goodness of God.