I am not a good person.

I'm not a good person.jpg

I am not a good person.

I hope the blog title grabbed your attention. And I’m sure someone got (or will get) offended by it. But there was a topic that’s been put on my heart that I really wanted to write about.

And it’s just that- the fact that I am not a good person (and neither are you).

If you know me (or if you’ve met met), you probably know that I love Jesus. I go to church, I serve at my church, and I help young adults follow Jesus as well. I love to write about Jesus, talk about Jesus, and read my bible. Needless to say, my biggest passions in life are following Jesus and teaching others to do the same.

Because of these passions, I have some convictions in my life that I try my hardest to follow. I watch what I watch, listen to, etc. I have strict boundaries on alcohol due to my views of what the bible teaches. I try not to swear or gossip. So on and so on. Because of the way I live my life, people naturally assume that I do these things (or don’t do certain things) because “I’m a good person.” And if I hear that one more time, my head might explode.

I appreciate the sentiment and compliment. But this needs to be made clear- I don’t follow Jesus and follow the bible because I am a good person. I follow Jesus because HE is the good One, and He loved me enough to save me and give me a second chance in life.

Truth is, I’m not a good person. Apart from Jesus, my heart is wicked. Apart from Jesus, I am selfish, life is about me, and I have a bad attitude that if you saw you would want to slap me across the face.

According to scripture, when God first made humans, we were good. Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” But in Genesis 3, sin entered the world for the very first time as Adam and Eve deliberately disobeyed Him and chose to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that point, sin entered the world and entered into the human heart. Wickedness entered into the hearts of man. Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”

Newsflash, this hasn’t changed. According to Gods standard of what is good, you and I miss the mark. The thoughts of our hearts fall short. We’re selfish, we’re greedy, we gossip, we hate, we lust- and no one had to teach us to do any of these things. We are naturally and willfully bent towards sin and rebellion to God.  

We live in a world where people create their own truth or their own standard of morality. We live in a world where people are encouraged to “follow your feelings and your heart”, “do what you want and you’ll be happy”. Unfortunately, this path only leads to deception and destruction. If we follow what our hearts want, we will never find true, abundant life- the life God has for us.

Every one of us has a conscience of good and evil, right and wrong. When we lie, steal, cheat, commit a crime, so on and so on, we have a sense of guilt within us, don’t we? We get angry when people murder innocent lives, we are outraged when there is injustice in the world. Have you ever stopped to think who gave you that sense morality? Where do you think that came from? Do you honestly think our minds, our conscience, and how we’re wired just happened by accident?

It came from a God who is our Creator who intentionally created us with a sense of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil. When you look at the bible, we learn of a God who defines what good is and what evil is. We learn the definition of goodness because the bible tells us what it is. The bible tells us these things: it tells us lying is a sin, getting drunk is a sin, using the Lords name in vain is an abomination (just to name a few). When Jesus entered scene, He said anyone who looks lustfully at a women has already committed adultery in his heart. He said that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister has already committed murder in their heart. Jesus didn’t look at the outward appearance of men. He went right to the heart and showed us that at the core of who we are, we’re missing the mark.

Sure, you may have not have committed a horrible crime or you’re not as bad as “that guy”, but all the stuff to do so is within you.

                The bible is clear with what sin is. It doesn’t tell us these things to condemn us. It shows us our nature to show us how much we've fallen short of Gods standard. It shows us how desperate we are in need of saving grace.

And when you come to understand that God is always good, always pure, and always holy, you come to realize, wow I am not any of these things. THIS is God’s standard of goodness- 100% perfection. All. The. Time.

That’s the bad news- the standard of perfection and goodness, we cannot obtain or reach that. We cannot work towards that or earn our “good standing” with God. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We’ve all messed up.

But thank God (literally), the story doesn’t stop there.

There is good news- Romans 3:24 says, “… and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Because God loves us so much, He sent His only Son to die on our behalf. Not because we are good, but because He is SO good. He loved us too much to keep us hopeless, and to keep us lost and dead in our sins.

Ephesians 2:4 says, “But because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved.

Do you want to know why I love Jesus so much?

It’s because of this: Apart from God, I was lost, dead, sinful and hopeless. When I gave my life to Jesus, He infused me with His love, purpose, and passion. I’m a new creation in Him. I’ve been completely forgiven for all my sins. In Christ, I’m no longer a sinner, I’m a saint. I did nothing to earn eternal life or the life I am living today. Everything I am- my life, my passions, my  focus, my husband, my dreams, and my vision- it’s all been given to me by a God who loved my enough to rescue me and redeem my life.

I follow Jesus because there is truly no life apart from Him. I was once (spiritually) dead, and now I am alive. Before Jesus, I was bored out of my mind on a daily basis. After Jesus, I found a purpose that invades every moment of every day.

I follow what the bible says not because I have to, but because I WANT to. Living the way Jesus teaches is the expression of my love for Him. Many people look at the bible as a list of “do’s and don’ts”. For a genuine believer in Christ, it’s not a “to-do” list. It’s the guideline to experience God and fulfill the purpose He’s given us. It’s a letter from a loving Father and Creator to His children and creation. Its 66 separate books that tell one story- the story of true love and redemption thru the life of Jesus Christ.  

I don’t follow Jesus and do what He commands thru His word because I am a good person. I live my life this way because He rescued me from my darkness and my past, and serving Him is better than anything this world could offer me.

Psalm 63:3 says, “Because your love is better than life itself, my lips will glorify you.”

When you give yourself to Jesus in complete surrender, you will discover God’s love in such a way that will transform your entire life. You won’t get all of life’s questions answered right away, you will walk thru suffering and hard times, but you are now bonded to a God who will never leave you nor forsake you. He will be with you every step of the way, thru the bad times and good times. And He will use it all for your good and for His mission of reconciling people to His heart.

In conclusion, I am not a good person. But Jesus is. He is so good. And just like He saved and transformed me, He can do the same for you if you let Him in your heart fully. We shouldn’t live in guilt and shame because we don’t measure up. Instead we should live in awe and wonder because of the fact that God loves us enough to save us from ourselves and from Him. Apart from Jesus, we are deserving of God’s wrath and hell. With Jesus, we have eternal life, and a hope for the future that starts now.

Melissa SecchiaroliComment