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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

being "good"

when i was a young girl, i hated getting in trouble. i wanted to be good! i did not want to have to suffer consequences or be disciplined. the fear of disappointing my parents or teachers or any adult that i was around would pretty much keep me on the straight and narrow. i did not even like to think that what i might do would just make them mad at me even if i knew i would not get in trouble. fear motivated me to do what was right as much as i possibly could. of course, i pushed past that fear sometimes and suffered the punishment for the pleasure of doing something that i thought would be worth it. but, for the most part, the fear of getting in trouble was my motivation.

when i think back now and realize that my motives were not really pure. i am surprised. i had always thought of myself as such a good girl, always wanting to please and be approved of. i see now that was true. but, more dominant in me, was the fear of punishment and disapproval, which shows me that being good, for me, was just avoiding punishment not a true heart reaction. i guess that only makes sense because as long as there is fear of disapproval or punishment, most of the time, it will alter our behavior. but, true goodness radiates when the fear of punishment is gone and it still comes forth.

i look at my life today and i still see that little girl who wants to be good and do what is right. but, my reasons today are not because i am afraid of discipline or disapproval. i am an adult now. the only punishment that would come to me for my bad behavior is from God and He has made it clear that He has removed the disappointment issue with Him. He knew that my behavior could only be truly "good" if the fear of His wrath and punishment was gone, so my motive could be pure.

i am not saying that God likes it when we behave badly. God hates sin and must punish it. He is a righteous and just God. He can not just look the other way. Sin makes him very angry and He must take vengeance. Nahum 1:2,6 says, "the Lord is a jealous God and avenging; the Lord avenges and He is full of wrath. the Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries and reserves wrath for His enemies...who can stand before His indignation? and who can stand up and endure the fierceness of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken asunder by Him." i think that sounds like He has to punish sin fiercely! that is scary! but, the good news is Jesus!

because God loved us so much, He created us to be the recipient of His mercy and grace and not His wrath. He knew we could never not sin. He knew before He created us that He would have to provide an escape or salvation from His wrath and still righteously judge our sin. Jesus was the answer to it all! (I Thessalonians5:9,10.) (Romans 5:8,9) Jesus took all of our punishment for all of our sin for all time. in His love for us, God poured all of His wrath on Him. there is no more sacrifice for sin! Jesus paid it all! Hebrews 10:12-18 states, "whereas this One, Christ, after He had offered a single sacrifice for our sin for all time sat down at the right hand of God...for by a single offering, He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy....this is the agreement that I will set up with them after those days says the Lord; I will imprint my laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them upon their minds. He then goes on to say, and their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more. now where there is absolute remission of sin, there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin." Wow! He has poured all of His wrath and disapproval and disappointment and judgement for all of our sin on Jesus. because of my faith in Jesus, i do not have to be afraid of getting in trouble with God anymore. i can be good because He made me good. I can do right because i want to do right. He changed me when i trusted in Jesus! He wrote "righteous" on my heart and gave me the Holy Spirit to remind me of that. when i remember this, all of my motives are pure because i'm not afraid of God getting mad at me for anything. His perfect love has cast out all of my fear! i can now be "good" from a pure heart!

24 comments:

rcubes said...

Amen! It is not our righteousness that make us right with God but that of Jesus'. Glory to God! If Jesus didn't come, wow, can't imagine myself being self-righteous yet still facing eternal punishment. Great post sister. Love and blessings.

Five Moms & A Blog said...

I feel like I was the same way growing up and now I am learning that thanks to Gods Grace, I don't have to pretend that I am something that I am not (mind you that does not mean that I set out to do bad things) but God has shown me my weaknesses and he knows that I am working on them. Thank God for his Grace!

Great post!
Tarah

Loren said...

wow! I love this post and understand so easily how we think we are good "something". In my case years after I knew the Lord we began seeing a Life Coach and without going into unnecessary detail she helped point out the I thought I was a good mom but actually I was parenting in FEAR and judgement of how my parents raised me.....that was VERY hard to swallow!!After some time and truly seeing that she taught me how parenting out of fear was and never could be LOVE and would not be blessed or received! Can you say REPENT and teach me thy Ways Lord??? Wow, it has changed so much and I had to learn daily to recognize first when, then why, and to seek the LORD and know He would show me the way but like you explained all of this was brought into the light because of HIS love, HIS desire to heal and change my whole family! I can come to HIM with a pure heart now and lead FOR HIM! I LOVE HOW HE DOES THAT DON'T YOU!!

Love You Christy!!

Jenn@Spejory said...

I love this message! I've been working on getting this through my brain--that there is no condemnation in Christ. I keep forgetting that I have been forgiven and I don't have to feel guilt. I want that pure heart!

Sweet Blessings said...

I hear ya sister! Just soaking in God's love and grace is amazing-and what transformation that brings! God is good all of the time. A friend sent this quote to me the other day: “Christ is much more powerful to save than Adam was to destroy.”
- John Calvin, Commentary on Romans, Collected Works.
Blessings!
Amanda

Kee said...

Awesome post Christy.
I was brought up in a church were fear was preached constantly. I'm so glad I have come to see who God really this.

I love reading your posts, you have such wonderful insight.

God Bless
Kiesha

Jennifer W. said...

Beautiful post. I think I lived a split life especially as a teen. I was good around grown ups, and not so good when no one was looking! I wasn't REALLY bad-no stealing or drugs or anything, just stuff I knew I wasn't supposed to do. And I got really good at hiding it so I didn't get caught and didn't get punished. Thank God that I know that everything I have ever done is wiped away! And that I don't behave that way anymore!! :)
Jen

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

I know exactly what you mean. I was the same way growing up. It took me a long time to realize I wasn't really as good as I thought I was. I loved the last line. Great post my friend!

Beth in NC said...

I can relate Christy! Thanks for sharing this post!

And thanks for the comment on my Vlog. Glad it gave you a giggle!

Love,
Beth

LisaShaw said...

"because God loved us so much, He created us to be the recipient of His mercy and grace and not His wrath. He knew we could never not sin. He knew before He created us that He would have to provide an escape or salvation from His wrath and still righteously judge our sin. Jesus was the answer to it all!"

To your words I say, Amen and praise the LORD!

Crown of Beauty said...

Hi, thank you for dropping by my blog place and leaving an encouraging comment and a link back to you! I truly appreciate your visit. Please do come back as often as you feel like.

I will surely come visit you later today and stay longer to read up on your posts.

Blessings,
Lidj

Mich said...

Great post, my friend. I think we all need to be reminded of God's grace daily. We do not have to "pretend." We can just be.

Mocha Momma said...

Of course you would be a rose!

I did take that picture. I took all of the pictures. I just get close now and get the details.

I used to take pictures of the entire bush or flower and heard one day that getting closer gives a much better picture.

Thanks

Mocha Momma said...

Yes I remember so clearly wanting to please everyone and be a "good girl". I felt like a failure so much.

Thank God for sending Jesus so I can be forgiven and free.

Being good because God made me good like you said is much better.

Great reminder and a discussion topic for my kids and I tonight.

Thanks

Heart2Heart said...

Christy,

This is a great blog, because as we grow older, we don't really get into trouble per say, we do however have to deal with life consequences which can far outweigh being punished as a child.

I wish so many times to be a child again without all the adult worries and stresses to deal with.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

momstheword said...

We can never be good enough for Him. Thank God for His son!

And you're right, we can be good because He has changed us and made us want to be good!

amanda said...

AMEN!!

i also enjoyed reading the three things! ;0)

hope you're enjoying the wildtree products yet!

Adeye said...

woohoo--you preach it sister!!!! I LOVE it! You got me going tonight--I love reading TRUTH!

Thank you so much for your love and encouragement as we journey to bring Hailee home--it means the world to me.

Daveda said...

"but, true goodness radiates when the fear of punishment is gone and it still comes forth."

Awesome! I love this statement!!

Close To Home said...

what a provocative/thinking post! i felt the same way as a child, teen...i wanted to be such a good girl...and it was interesting to read someone elses perspective. thanks!

Jenilee said...

I love this post. thanks for sharing your heart!

~*Michelle*~ said...

This is beautiful

"because God loved us so much, He created us to be the recipient of His mercy and grace and not His wrath."

Amen, Christy Rose.......Amen

chili pepper said...

Amen!! My whole life, prior to being saved, I was always so frustrated trying to be good and perfect and of course always failing! Boy am I grateful that I don't have to try to be good enough anymore! There is no more I can say. The sermon this morning got me thinking about a post sort of along these lines. Funny how God brings similar ideas around at the same time from different sources isn't it?

To answer your question about my birds, you could check out these posts.

http://artschilipepper.blogspot.com/2009/05/there-is-something-about-sisters.html

http://artschilipepper.blogspot.com/2009/06/it-takes-mighty-good-husband-to-be.html

http://artschilipepper.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-i-became-bird-mama.html

Happy Sunday!

Kat

Karen said...

Wonderful post...as I read the first paragraph I thought...she's writing about me!

His perfect love....Amen!