Quick Thoughts: Goodness and Humility

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It is my belief that all true goodness comes from God. This goodness is not always what the world considers ‘good’. This goodness manifests itself in a human as a desire to serve and give glory to God. When I talk about ‘good’, I don’t mean something that’s a little better than ‘okay’ and a little worse than ‘excellent’, I mean something that has no trace of bad, that is pure and perfect.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah said that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6), and in the New Testament, the apostle Paul said that goodness is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). The theme that emerges if you look for goodness in the Bible is one of human inadequacy and God’s power to transform us. I know that some people have accused Christians of being pessimistic about the human condition, but if you go by the standards of goodness that the Christian God demands, there is no way that you can argue that humans have it sorted. For a human to be good, we must allow God to make us good.

How do we allow God to make us good? We humble ourselves. We confess with our mouths and believe with our hearts that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9). We become like children before God (Matt. 18:3). We accept that God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10). We have to allow our own perception of our importance to decrease in order that God’s power in us may increase. This is not false humility that is actually a way of bringing more praise onto ourselves, this is genuine humility that directs the praise on to the God who sustains everything and who is our goodness because of what Jesus went through on the cross (Col. 1:20).

Jesus is the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2), so let’s trust in him to make us perfect too.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Gene says:

    Interesting thoughts. Jesus was once called “good teacher” and he responded with, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” I have always wondered if he was saying the man shouldn’t have called him ‘good’, or he was equating himself with God in that way.

    1. bengarry says:

      Yeah I’ve wondered about that passage too. I’m happy with calling Jesus good in this post because I’m essentially defining good with the absence of any evil, which is consistent with the writer of Hebrews who says, more than once, that Jesus was ‘made perfect’. Nevertheless, I’d love to know what Jesus really meant when he said that to the man, because it seems quite confusing on the face of it.

  2. mejung24 says:

    I like the thought of God’s power increasing in us.

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