You won’t get there by being good

I STRUGGLE to be obedient to God. We all do. I don’t mean in the easy things which aren’t always easy. Like obeying traffic laws or paying taxes. Or just plain being nice.

Do you think you are good? Be careful of thinking this. Why? Because if you are good, then someone else must be worse. Good must be measured against something or else it’s nothing. Or are we all good?

“He’s a good man,” they might say. Good compared to what? To who?

Actions can be good. But be careful about thinking or saying, “I’m a good person.” If not, you risk thinking you’re better than someone else.

Have I walked in their shoes? Do I know all the details of their life? Maybe they bear a hidden cross that I could never even budge.

Even our Lord did not want to be called good.

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” 

Instead of wanting to be good, I should want to obey. This stings me. I go against it like a spoiled child. Lord, you spoiled me. You gave me the universe to enjoy. You gave me everything. So like a brat, I rebel. I want to be cynical, or I don’t have time. I engage in “harmless” teasing.  Selfish. Proud. Arrogant. Vain. Impatient. Controlling. Accomplice. Enabler. Nag. I don’t even realize the damage I do along the way. The human capacity to condemn is bottomless.


Want to be humble? Obey the Word of God. The most humble are the most obedient. Look at Christ’s humility. See how far it went. It was in exact proportion to his obedience. He never denied the will of his Father.

Jesus Christ loves God so very, very much.

Don’t look to be good! You can’t. I can’t either. But I do have a shot at being obedient. Oh Holy Spirit, help me to obey and love God. Then I might have a chance at being humble.

1  Luke 18:19

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