How “Good” are You?
One of our problems is: we believe that the human race is divided into good people and bad people. In realty the human race consists of those who are bad and those who are bad, but think they are good.
If you KNOW that, at your core, you are basically selfish, greedy, and arrogant you will then work hard to counter those traits with good works. If you think you are basically good, then why try harder to be good? You are already good.
The overwhelming evidence is, at their core, people are bad. Selfishness, greed, and arrogance drive the human animal. Even people’s “good deeds” are mostly driven by a selfish need to feel good.
People can be relied upon to do the “right thing” as long as that does not interfere to much with their personal comfort, or if they know someone is watching or if it doesn’t cost to much.
You will say “I’m good, I always try to do the right thing.” Think hard about that, be truly honest, more often than not, if the “right thing” is convenient, and does not cost to much, you will do it. If it’s hard, costly, or inconvenient, most of the time people will pass on the opportunity to do right.
This is why, as Christians, we are called to “die to ourselves”. Our basic “self” is, by nature, greedy, arrogant, and selfish. We are called to let that basic “self” die, to be replaced with the spirit of Christ.
We, as Christians, are provided with the The Holy Spirit. We are told to let our selfish spirit “die” and let The Holy Spirit guide us instead.
The Holy Spirit is the manifestation of Christ in our lives. If we let The Holy Spirit have the controls of our lives, we will become “better”.
Christ was the only person ever to live on this planet without a “sinful” nature. If you study his life, He was not selfish, greedy, or arrogant. He was Love. Everything He did came from a place of Love for the human race, putting the needs of others, well above His own needs. This is what it means to be “good”, always putting the needs of others before your own.
So how do we go about letting our old “self” die? The first and most important thing to do is ask Christ for his guidance, ask often, ask everyday, multiple times a day. That is all you really need to do. If you focus on Christ, He will start to work in your life. Most likely He will lead you to read the Bible. It comes back to what I heard over and over as a kid, “read your bible and pray everyday”. Also if you focus on Christ he will bring people into your life to help you on your quest. Christ knows that we need others to help us and he will provide what you need.
I would add, study the life of Christ. By definition, a Christian is a follower of Christ. How can one be a follower of Christ without studying the life of Christ?
I say this because if you start reading the Bible and don’t ever make it to the New Testament, you will miss the life of Christ. If you don’t get the whole picture, non of it will make sense. And let’s be honest if you only read the Old Testament, your view of God will be greatly flawed. God, only viewed through the lens of the Old Testament, can be misinterpreted as a mean and spiteful God.
We are told to follow Christ, so please study the life of Christ.
You can NOT be a follower of Christ and spew hate onto people you don’t agree with. The only people Christ ever showed anger and physical violence to were people who were using the Father’s house for personal financial gain. Think about that for a while. Christ also spent so much time with sinners that he was accused of being drunk. Get close to Christ and I guarantee He will start a good work in you. But be warned, he will target your arrogance, selfishness, and greed.
Christ was not easily offended, even knowing that Judas was going to betray Him, He never confronted him. Christ never pulled Judas aside and said “I’m watching you, better walk the straight line”. Christ did not stand up and demand his rights. Christ showed absolute and unconditional love to all. If you call yourself a Christian, you have absolutely no right to your perceived rights. Get over yourselves, and trust in Christ.
If you believe that you posses any goodness at all on your own, you vastly overestimate your goodness, and you vastly underestimate Gods goodness. God is good. The only thing that is good about us, is God in us.
I’ll say it again, because that’s what I do: stop trying so hard to be good, and just spend time with Christ.