Do you know a good man? A good woman? I do. There are lots of them. People who use their time to help others. People who use their resources for more than themselves. People who care about the world around them, and who do something to show it. I know lots of these good men and women. But what is it that makes them good? What is our standard for good? Do you and I even have the same standard? What if the man who gives so much money to help the poor does it just so that people will like him? Is he still good? What if the woman who serves at the drop in centre every week is also having an affair? Is she still good? What if none of it matters?
What if none of it matters because we’ve got the standard for “good” all wrong?
Here is where you might decide to stop reading, but I encourage you to keep going; even if you have to disagree with me.
I know a lot of people who have read the Bible and who have decided to believe that Jesus wasn’t God, even though He said He was, but that He was good. They believe He was a good man, maybe even the best man. If that’s it then it’s still a great standard. If we could all live to the Jesus standard of good I think our world would look a lot different.
Whether you have thought about it or not we all have a standard for what we think is good. Here’s the problem. None of us even live up to our own standard for what we think is good! So, most of us probably can’t agree on a standard of good, and then, even when we pick our own standard for ourselves we still mess it up. (Don’t believe me? Do you think your family should come first, but come home late from work? Don’t want to yell at your kids, but find yourself yelling anyway?) Here’s where I think many of us have it wrong, and where I used to have it wrong. We believe that any standard for good, even if it’s Jesus’ standard, is enough. If you will take the step from believing that Jesus was good, to believing that Jesus is God then instead of just liking the things He did you can believe the things He said. What Jesus said is that you are loved before you ever deserved it and that you are made right by what He did and not by what you do.
Now that’s a different standard!