Is working hard to be good counter productive? Does working hard to be good actually train our souls to be good or merely to do good? Is it okay to do good, but not be good?
Claim: Being honest must precede and accompany being good.
Without honesty, the darkness in our hearts will surely leak out at a most inopportune moment and may throw our entire goodness project into disarray. With honestly, the darkness will still leak out, but we respond in confession not suppression, which is a good thing, for suppression will only make darkness fester.
Claim: The darkness is wicked.
Every part of us has been corrupted by our corporate and individual decision to worship ourselves rather than God. This includes our deepest selves and the ability to see and repair what is down there. Honesty requires us to admit this and to seek help from one who can help.
Claim: We are good.
By design, we are made to personally and corporately bear God’s image before all creation. Not only this, but we are part of that creation which the Creator declared, “Very good.” While we are corrupt beyond our own ability to repair, we are also made for greatness. Honestly requires that we admit this potential greatness.
Claim: Only trust in and friendship with Jesus will suffice.
Jesus is the Creator who made us: he knows we are dust and has the will and capacity not only to repair us, but to make us wholly new. He is the Son of God in human flesh: he related himself to us eternally to make us perfectly human like himself. He is the Sovereign King: he rules all creation and in him all creation has its proper end.
Claim: It is better to be honest.
By this I mean completely honest.
- Admit our brokenness and inability.
- Admit our high calling as image bearers.
- Admit that Jesus is the only one who is able to make us new and complete (and, as it logically follows, trust him to do so).
- Decide to continually trust in Jesus, expressing this trust in a yearning for and practice of deep friendship with him.
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