The new era of goodness

CALL IT the post-pandemic era if you want. Our new normal is constantly living on the cusp of frequent, monumental change. As we surf this endless wave, how will you stay balanced?

The coming era will belong to those who know themselves well. 

We humans are capable of so much… both incredible good and astonishing evil. Increasingly, these extremes are made manifest for us to witness.

Even though right and wrong can never be denied, naked power has no shame these days. Understanding these extremes will serve us well in the future. 

Never underestimate the evil you are capable of. I’m not saying that you will become a murderous beast overnight. But you could easily unleash a hurtful word, neglect someone who needs you, or join a mob.

People say don’t focus on the negative. But will I deny evil exists? Paranoia is no good, but imagining that I am free from rage and resentment is dangerous — especially now.

If we think we are too good, then we believe we can do no wrong. And that might be the most deadly thought on earth. As Paul said, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. 

But what about the good? Are you aware of the good you are capable of? What holds you back then?

When God created humankind, he said his creation was “very good”. And the goodness of the Lord is there to help you first.

This isn’t selfishness. It’s healing. It’s freedom. It’s untangling the knots in your interior life. It’s the hand of God sustaining you even in horrific situations.

It’s the grace of God shattering the chains that imprison you. 

Many pray for the peace that the world offers but can never deliver. Instead, why not ask the Lord to help us navigate the terrain and generate peace? Let’s ask him to help us find our way in the complex, messy spaces in our families and communities.

Blessed are the peacemakers. They will be called children of God.

Don’t offer me anesthesia or a life without problems. It’s all an empty lie. Instead, let me be fully alive in the here and now, no matter how frustrating or threatening it might be.

Too many have retreated in fear. Too many rely on dead things to soothe the pain. Has the devil put you to sleep with his poisonous lullaby?   

Far too often, we want behaviors or circumstances to fill the emptiness. We obsess over the mistakes of others, as if that might give us peace. Satan tempts us and we take the bait.

But when we rest in the Lord, we enter a spacious place that lifts us far above the temporal nature of our existence.

We see how Jesus came down to our level — the King of kings, Lord of lords on his knees washing the feet of the sinner, bleeding and dying for the mess I’ve made. 

Is it any wonder then, in the context of Christ, that we discover great joy, even in the desolation? In the calm of his tenderness, deep thanks takes root.

These are the miracles we yearn for. This is solid faith. It’s not a delusion, but rather the source of life, our Lord, our God. 

I will not argue with human reasoning about this. But for once, just once, open your heart without fear.

Our potential for good is far greater than the aggression that attempts to frighten us now.

True good is from God Almighty. The Son of Man shows us the most excellent way.

His Spirit is a mighty force that gives us courage and strength. His Spirit tells us:

“Never be prudent with love. Never hold anything back. Be wise in timing and action, but may you always strive to grow in the righteousness of God.

The truly humble will open that innermost door of their heart and expose those secret places to God’s mercy.

And from there, the goodness of the Lord comes rushing in.

Get more of this. And give more in return.”  

. . . . . . .

 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:9-10

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