Do you think you are good? Have you looked at other Christians and unbelievers with feelings of anger, disgust, dislike, or hate? Do you think you are right? Christians are not good. You and I are not good. God is good and the good in us is from God. If you’ve ever wondered or never thought to ask why we shouldn’t condemn others for their sins, this is the reason why. Your goodness is god-given, and only the one who is completely good can correctly determine who is bad and punish them.
Christians Are Not Good
Mark 10:18 (View Chapter Here)
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
Deuteronomy 9:4-6 (View Chapter Here)
4 After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.
You are not saved because you are good, you are saved because of a promise. God, our Lord Jesus Christ, promised we would be saved if we believe in him, not if you were good. Acting as if we are good is being prideful of our own accomplishments. Christians are not good, we are saved by mercy and not by righteousness.
Pride Belongs to Unbelievers
Someone who does not believe in God, one true God, cannot give credit to God for all that they have. They have an excuse for why they are prideful, as they see only themselves and the work of their own hands. Christians have no such excuse. We see the work of God in our lives and how we would be in a bad place if not for the love and mercy of the Lord.
We are saved despite our failures, despite our wickedness, despite our stiff-necked tendencies to ignore and disobey. You and I are saved because Jesus Christ, our Lord, died on the cross as a blood sacrifice to atone for our sins. We will never be in the presence of God based on the merit of our own separate existence.
Our Brothers and Sisters Fail
Who is turned away from their way of life because of another’s disgust and hate? Who do we think we are helping by sharing that we are disgusted, offended, angered, or full of contempt for the actions of others? We aren’t saving a single person by this, including ourselves.
Matthew 5:21-22 (View Chapter Here)
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
How is it that we who are not good can determine whether or not we have cause to be angry with a brother or sister? We can’t, our moral compass is broken. We have no measurement to justify our judgment of cause against another.
Hope for Our Brothers and Sisters
Even if our brothers and sisters turn from God, there is yet hope for them. We must turn them back to God using the rod of discipline, which is wielded with love, not with anger. This rod is a shepherds staff, used to redirect the sheep who have wandered off. We are the ones who speak out to correct each other when a sheep is wandering off. Christians are the rod of discipline, the tool used by Christ to reach the people of this world and bring them home. We have to reach everyone, our brothers and sisters who have turned away and those who have not yet believed.
Christians are not good, but God will keep his promise.
Scriptural Support for Those Who Turned Away
Deuteronomy 4:25-31 (View Chapter Here)
25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed.27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.
Christians Are Not Good, But We Have Good
Every one of us has been implanted with a seed, sown in our hearts, nurtured and watered by God. This seed grows as we let it, into a tree bountiful in fruit of the spirit of Christ or mangled, twisted, scorched or crushed by the sinful nature of our hearts. This seed and what it grows into is the only thing in you that is good. If you let this seed grow and mature, God will create something beautiful in you. Your tree will not only be full of fruit, but blossom and shine for all others to see the glory of God within you. It isn’t our majesty that they should see, but God’s majesty.
No matter how great we become, we are great because God made us great. We are righteous through God, and we are wicked on our own.
The Good Example
Do not think of yourself as the good example. Think of yourself as the humble servant of the Lord. As the staff of correction and the caretaker of God’s orchard of Christian spirits that glorify God by our obedience and love for each other. Think of yourself as the flawed, broken, and wicked sinner that you are. A person that does good because our Lord provides you the strength to turn from sin. Consider yourself to be a light powered by God to bring children of God lost at sea back to safety. A light does not attack the things in the darkness. The light only reveals the dangers within the darkness so those who are struggling in it can make it through.
Christians are not good, but we can be a light in the darkness.