“If you want to be good, don’t sneak around with a knife trying to kill people at night.” – Junior, age 5
Basically everyone believes themselves to be “good”. I mean, have you ever met anyone that said “No, I’m not good. Actually, I’m a dirt bag.”? Nope, me neither.
We set up standards that make sense to us, to justify our positive views of ourselves (and also to judge others, but that’s another topic). For example- “I’m a good guy, I don’t steal, kill people or cheat on my taxes much.”
The problem with determining a check lists for what makes us good or bad is we generally don’t even measure up to our own legalistic list when we examine it carefully.
Here’s what God says about who is actually “good”.
Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
So, how many of us “act justly” (fairly) all the time? Who among us love mercy rather than condemning the guilty? How often do I “walk humbly” with my God?
The Bible’s teaching and our practical experience prove that there are no completely good people. (Rom 3:10, 3:23)
So Junior answered with the above quote when I asked the question, “If you were God and wanted to make a list of ‘do and don’ts’ what would you put on the ‘don’t’ list?”
What a great answer. He’s making a list of “bad things” that he’s definitely not guilty of. I do the same thing. When I come up with an arbitrary list of “do” and “don’t”s then judge people by that list, usually I don’t include the things I might be guilty of myself.
I’m thankful freedom in Christ is about owning up to my fallen nature and embracing Christ rather than following some arbitrary list of rules. I can gain total freedom by just being authentic with God, with others and with myself. Galatians 3:2