I heard a news anchor today talking about a celebrity who died recently. They were saying what a good person he was, listing charities he contributed to, people he was nice to and how adored he was by fans. Immediately my spirit recoiled from the idea, and I sent up a prayer: Lord, please don’t ever let anyone talk about what a ‘good’ person I am/was. At least not by the world’s standards.
The world’s idea of good is based on works that can be achieved by any human being, things like helping the poor, clothing orphans, feeding the homeless and giving to those less fortunate than themselves. While all of these are good, worthwhile things to do – and they are things that we should do – I pray that these are never the things that define who I am.
As a Christian I am called to live in the world, but not be of the world. The last thing that I should be striving for is the world’s acceptance of me as ‘good’. I am nothing in and of myself, but I am everything through Jesus Christ. It is Him that the world should see when they look at me, not my works. I should be different enough from the world that they see Him shining through me. I hope that I never do good works in my own strength and take the credit away from the One who deserves it. Please Lord, let the world always see You in me.
So many times I try to do things in my own strength, and I almost always either fail or end up leaning on God to help me. It is my sincere hope that the world sees that about me and knows that it is God, not me, who gets the credit for every good thing I do. Thinking about how I will be remembered when I’m gone is a real wake-up call for the way I live my life. When I’m gone the people closest to me will be able to attest to how I lived, the kind of person I was and what I stood for in my life. But will the world be able to see that I was more than just ‘good’?
If you are reading this and you are a Christian, I’m calling you to make this commitment with me. Let the world call us different. Let them call us radical. Let them call us crazy, Jesus-loving freaks. But, don’t let them call us good. Our lives should be about so much more than that.