The good, the bad and the dead

There is something I want to explain out of my previous post.  I talked about the love of God versus right and wrong and when we started to experience the love of God, right and wrong was not that important any more. 

I want to add to that a little bit.  All of us have sin in our lives.  Stuff that we do that do not please God.  We try our best to fight against our sins.  Christians are supposed to look like christians, right?  So we fight our “bad self” and present to God our “good self”. 

I believe however, that we do not know that our “good self” is just as offensive or even more offensive to God than our “bad self”.  You might ask, “What”?  Because we are under the curse of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, both is offensive.  We come to God, put our best foot forward and believe that we can somehow impress him with our goodness.  Our “good self” is the one that believes he/she can somehow impress God.  He/she is the one that believes that he/she can make it.  Our “bad self” knows he/she have no chance with God.  Not so with our “good self”  When it comes to the cross, our “bad self” knows it has to die.  The “good self” will NOT die.  It will go kicking and screaming to the cross.  We will plead.  We will bargain.  We will be angry as hell, because our “good side” has done nothing wrong.  Look at all the stuff I am doing for God, we will shout.  The “good side” is however still looking out for number one.  He/she does not live out of God’s love but out of self love.  He/she believes in achievement.  The one with the most self-discipline wins, right?  Or perhaps the one with the best prayer life.  Or the one that knows hard work.  Or perhaps the one who knows the Bible the best?  Our “good self” knows how to be seen, what to say and how to say it.  He/she is the best we can give God. 

When it comes to a relationship with God, WE MUST DIE.  A grain of wheat must die for a new life to be born.  (We can only live out of ourselves or live out of God.)  A new Life begins to flow through us and because of it we will grow and later on, have fruit for all.   Fruit are the product of too much Life.  Our “good self” will always try to produce something that LOOKS like the fruit of the Holy Spirit. 

The place where we die differs from person to person.  For some of us it is a trainwreck moment.  For some it is a life long trainwreck spread over 30 years.  Usually the moment includes a hopelessness and a loss of function.  Disillusionment, disappointment and frustration may be part of what we feel.  It’s a place where we are not so sure God exists or that He cares.(I know I sound a bit bleak with all the tragedy stuff, but pain has a tendency to block out externals.  This way it’s just between me and God)  It is however a place where we begin to move from believe to faith.  An uncertain trust is born.  It is the place where we begin to understand what grace really is.  We put our hands in the hand of a God that will lead us to God knows where.  We begin to love ourselves because God loves us.  We begin to live authentic broken lives.  We begin to give those around us “what we have” and “what we have” comes from God.  This is not a place for the good capable person.  All of us comes to the cross, but not all of us die there.  Again our choice is not right versus wrong, but Jesus and the love that flows out of Him.

They say that Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  It precedes Genesis.  Perhaps it should also be the first book in the Bible.  It’s a story about a man who has none of his questions answered and still meets God.  It’s about a God who puts His trust in a man that does not really know Him very well.  It’s a good place to begin the Bible with, don’t you think 🙂

“Jesus came to raise the dead. He did not come to teach the teachable; He did not come to improve the improvable; He did not come to reform the reformable. None of those things works.” –Robert Farrar Capon


7 thoughts on “The good, the bad and the dead

  1. Your post corresponds with a conversation my husband and I had about Romans 5 last summer. The chapter describes our life under Adam and under the new Adam, Christ. We realized that the actual temptation, what Adam and Eve *chose* in the garden, was what Satan offered them: They wanted to “be like God,” knowing good and evil. When we place our life focus and passion on right and wrong, we completely miss what God intended for us in the first place. We’re simply repeating what Adam and Eve did. We think the whole point of being like God is knowing what is right and wrong and doing accordingly. But that’s Satan’s logic. That’s how he got cast out of heaven – he wanted to be like God. He tempted us with the same logic. He did not GET God as He is. He wasn’t concerned so much with our knowing right and wrong as He was concerned about our knowing Him.

  2. To Katherine,
    yip, it’s not easy but definitely worth it.

    To Sarah,
    I’m glad. I find it difficult to put this into words, because it is something that has to be lived.

    To Kelly,
    I agree with you, we rely on right and wrong to guide us, but the love of God will lead us to where right and wrong cannot possibly take us. I think I have to add that we cannot decide that right and wrong is just plain wrong. The love of God has to overflow and that overflow tends to render right and wrong inaffective. When the love of God is not a reality in our lives, right and wrong should guide us. We have to tred carefully. We cannot teach people about the Love of God. We have to give them the Love of God. Only when the Love of God is the reality in a person’s life can we talk about right and wrong being inaffective.

    Blessings to all of you

  3. I can relate here as well – been thinking I ask God to deal with my weakness perhaps it’s in the area of my strengths that God needs to do a work – in fact I am sure it is – in those areas I walk in my own strength and confidence.

  4. To Mark R,

    Yes, it where we are strong that we don’t need God. My strenghts are thus a place devoid of God’s love. We may look good, but that is where it ends. The whole person needs God, not just where we are weak.

  5. […] One – Jesus is the end of all religion.  We cannot come to God by effort.  We have to die, not just our bad habits but also the good we do.  We will not see what Jesus did as long as we rely and depend on our ability to do the right thing and do good.  The sad part is that we fight against our “bad” nature and rely on the good we can do to promote God’s kingdom.  This relying on our abilities also have to die.  Jesus came to raise the dead, not only the bad.  If you do not understand, read here… […]

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