It feels good to do good and be good. It generally feels good enough, particularly when we are mostly doing more good than others around us. It is easy to think that God should or even probably does accept us because we are usually and generally good. That’s what we feel, but what does God say. Is it good enough to be good?
Conscience Salve. Deep down we usually know we aren’t really very good, or good at all. We try to temporarily bury guilt feelings by asserting our goodness, but we usually know what we’re hiding from others and trying to hide from ourselves.
None Righteous. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Ro 3:10) and “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Ro 3:23). The shame is not in being a sinner, it is refusing to admit it so that true goodness can be found in Christ.
God is Good. “…there is none good but one, that is God” (Mk 10:18). Since God is the only One who is wholly and truly good, He is the only true standard of goodness. We want to measure ourselves by our not good neighbors, but if we measure ourselves by God we will see not only that we are not good, but that we need the goodness He provides.
Goodness or Righteousness? Goodness and righteousness aren’t necessarily the same things. Social goodness (doing good things to others) isn’t the same as spiritual righteousness (things that are the same as or consistent with God’s pure and holy nature). God is completely righteous (Ps 145:17). When righteousness condemns us we must not respond by asserting our goodness or by re-defining righteousness in a way that accepts us. Degrading righteousness degrades our concept of God. “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God…” (1 Co 15:34).
True Goodness & Righteousness Revealed. “He has shown you, O man, what is good…” (Micah 6:8). It’s not trial and error or guesswork to figure out what is truly good. God’s word, the Bible, reveals what is true, right, and good. Let God define goodness by accepting and obeying His word.
Good Can’t Undo Bad. The New Testament says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ep 2:8-9). What we do by our own strength and mind cannot make us good or righteous. Our good cannot undo even one bad spiritual thing in our life. We need help.Frustrated? If God is good and we are not, and if there is nothing in our power to do good and change our lost condition – then what’s the point of even trying? Why even try to be and do good? We need to allow our frustration to motivate us to find the real solution. That solution isn’t simply trying to do more good, it is Christ who is completely good and died so we can be forgiven and be completely good and do what is good. When we believe in Him, turn our lives to Him, confess Him, and truly follow Him in obedience, He will forgive us and make us good. Are YOU good?