I wouldn’t say I’m a bad person.
I mean, I’m a loving wife and mom, a good neighbor; I don’t steal, lie, or cheat, and I follow the rules. I do unto others as I’d have them to unto me. I read my Bible, pray, and have memorized a lot of Scripture.
All in all, I think I’m not all that bad.
There are a lot of Christians that have bought into this kind of thinking.
Being the “good Christian”.
In fact, I think that this idea has created a sort of complex among Christians; a perfection complex where Christians work very hard to live up to an ideal.
And with each generation the ideal is just a little different, making “being a good Christian” a moving target.
And just about the time you feel you can finally relax, because you’ve kept a good track record at being a “good Christian” (I keep putting that in quotes, because honestly I have no idea what that even means, because I’ve never actually ever found a definitive description of what makes a good Christian good), you make a political comment, share that anti-abortion meme, or share your opinion on homosexuality and suddenly….
your thrust from “good Christian” to judgmental Christian, evil Christian, or fundamental Christian.
Scripture actually sets us free from this “good Christian” complex.
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Romans 3:10-12
No one is born good
Every person in human history, besides Jesus Christ, was born into sin.
The truth is, from our very first breath, we had a sin nature raging inside of us. This is precisely why no child has to be taught to hit another child, take toys away, or lie to get themselves out of trouble.
As parents we don’t like to think of our children as sinners, but that is precisely what they are. No, deep inside your child is not good. He or she may want to be good, but we must teach them that their goodness is not based on their behavior, but on the work of Jesus Christ.
Sin is instinctive because we are not born good, we are born sinful.
Our good deeds will never be good enough
Any religion that doesn’t not acknowledge the real purpose for Jesus’ sacrifice must revert to the good works of man to redeem him.
Even Christians who understand that our redemption relies solely on the blood of Jesus are tempted to act like their good deeds have something to do with it.
The truth is, there are no scales that will weigh our good and bad deeds, and nothing we we could ever cancel out the sin we’ve done. There is only one way this can be done and it’s by accepting the blood of Jesus for our atonement.
Our behavior does not define our goodness, because our behavior is corrupted by selfish ambition, hidden motives, and desire for personal gain.
The heroes of the Bible were not “good Christians”
Have you ever looked into the “Hall of Faith? Have you seen who is listed there?
Noah – who got dead drunk
Abraham – who lied
Isaac – who played favorites with his sons
Jacob – who cheated his brother
Joseph – who had a problem with pride
Moses – who killed a man
Rahab – who was a prostitute
Gideon – who was a coward
Samson – who had a huge moral problem
David – who had an affair and killed the husband of his mistress
Samuel – whose sons were corrupt
Beyond the hall of faith, we have the disciples who were uncouth and corrupt men; Paul persecuted Christians and even into their ministry we see Peter displaying prejudice against Gentile Christians.
While this shouldn’t give us license to go out and sin, it should remind us that despite our failures, God can still use us for His purposes!
When we fail to live up to some nebulous ideal, rather than allowing that failure to taunt us and haunt us, we need only to repent and rejoice in the grace of God that forgives and restores!
Failure is an event, not an identity – F. Dean Hackett – Foundational Blog
In fact, I’d argue that striving to be a “good Christian”, in and of itself, is sin – it is the sin of pride. It is assuming that if we’re good enough, God will love us more and bless us more.
It is a failure to understand that any goodness in us comes from God.
It is a failure to understand that any good things we do on are own are corrupted by our own selfishness and pride.
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6
No, I’ll never be good enough.
Apart from Jesus I am far from enough.
But the blood of Jesus bridges that gap…by His blood and by His grace…..I am enough.
- Rosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.