People who say, “I’m a good person,” may be giving themselves a pass. They’re probably overlooking many things that they have thought, said or done. No one is good but God!
When feelings dominate behavior, life becomes an enslaver, holding us in bondage to our desires. It’s easy to follow our feelings and desires. It’s much more difficult to acknowledge truth that contradicts them.
Some thoughts should be treasured; some thoughts should be rejected. It’s good to know the difference. Paul of Tarsus says that if we ignore our conscience, we can suffer “shipwreck with regard to the faith.”
It’s easy to say, “I’m a good person,” yet hard to truly be good, though we know we should and wish we could. We need a new heart. “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” describes our moral condition. Conscience is the “Life Alert” warning that we need to surrender to Christ.
Conscience says “Be good.”
Guilt says “We can’t.”
Religion says “Try harder.”
Jesus says “Surrender to Me.”
Dishonesty is dysfunctional and denies truth for self-serving deceptions. However, Christ, living in you, changes your behavior from the inside out, and you can no longer be comfortable doing things you used to do.
Jesus doesn’t just offer forgiveness. He offers to graciously indwell, energize, and empower us to follow and obey Him. To be full of Christ is the cure for being “full of it” or “full of yourself.” “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
One reason people don’t like to read the Bible is that it challenges our feelings, desires, and opinions. (As for me, I need that.) The Bible’s about lifestyle as much as theology. It doesn’t just need to be preached in church; it needs to be lived out daily.
The Bible says that Christians should “teach and admonish one another.” Church doesn’t encourage that, but Facebook, Twitter, and other social media do. We don’t have to settle for religious rigidity when God offers the gift of Spirit-led fluidity. Genuine Christ-followers carry the risen Jesus within. When they meet, Jesus can speak through any of them, not just a preacher.
Christianity isn’t about just getting into Heaven. It’s about Jesus indwelling human beings and releasing Heaven into us.