brothers, sisters, and friends!
So, curious, have you ever heard the phrase: "He was such a good man..."? ~ Let's look at it a little deeper, shall we?
The world says - man is basically good, there are only a few "bad apples". But, God's Word says something completely different ~ "There is none good, no not one." (Romans 3:12) *** "So Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good, but One, that is God.'" (Luke 18:19) So, let's look a little deeper, shall we? ~
The common man looks at himself and thinks he's basically good and that man (and woman) in general are basically good. Why? Because he compares himself to the worst of man, or at very least - those who don't live up to his own standards. That view - is our nature. We like to think well of ourselves! "Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?" (Proverbs 20:6)
Yet, just because we, by nature, create our own standard doesn't mean we can justify ourselves by our own standard. There is only one standard - God's - that's it, end of story. We either measure up to God's standard or we don't. And, I believe, the main reason most people in the country (those who claim to follow Christ and those who do not) think of themselves and mankind as basically 'good' is because they do not know God's standard, because the majority of them do not spend personal time in God's Word. For, if they did even a little bit of thinking on the 10 Commandments, they would see that they (all of us) are guilty - as charged. Not by accident - but by choice. You see - all of our rebellion is by choice - we do not accidentally lie - we choose to. We do not accidentally use God's name carelessly - we choose to. And on Judgment Day, it will not be the accidents that God will judge each and every one of us by, but by our choices. You see, most people aren't honest enough to admit that all of us choice daily to obey or disobey God, but that's still true.
I think the reason some of these things get fuzzy to some people is because we, in America, have changed words that used to only have 1 solid definition and meaning to now have several meanings, and usually even more connotations. Let me give you an example. A lie is a lie is a lie. It doesn't matter what shape it is or what color one thinks it is - it's still a lie. It doesn't even matter why we tell it - it's still a lie. And it's something we all need to learn to stop - in every aspect, and for every reason. Now that doesn't mean being rude, but we all do need to continue growing in becoming graciously honest, even when it's uncomfortable - for our good and the good of those we talk to and with.
But, because there is such confusion on lying and it's definition, many don't think they have said too many - they've allowed the culture (inspired by Satan) to redefine the terms and meanings so they can excuse it away and ignore it. This kind of thinking crosses over to murder, and stealing (aka - "borrowing" ~ haha, yeah right!). I think you get my point - the definitions have changed.
Why is this important? Well, I think that what I just pointed out is a subtle way Satan has been trying to change the rules and definitions so more people can deceive themselves into thinking they are okay and that everything is somehow in the "gray area". But, to prove this isn't true, let's look at some things that are not in the gray area at all, and try - if we can - to establish (once again) a moral foundation on which to build our lives and lifestyles.
>> In what case(s) is rape okay? It's not - it's never okay. So, rape in all cases, all scenarios - is wrong. There is never a time when rape is right. - It's an absolute. (I'm using the normal definition of that word, not the absurd extensions of that that some use.)
>> In what case is murder ever right? It's not - murder is never okay. It's an absolute. (Also, bringing justice on murder is what the courts are supposed to be for and some US judges are still honorable - we need to pray for them and for more like them to become judges.)
>> Coveting what (or who) someone else has is never right.
>> Committing adultery is never right. And, lust is never right.
>> Dishonoring our Dad and Mom is never right - and that lasts our whole lifetime. (Note: disagreeing is different from dishonoring - we may disagree, but we need to always honor them to maintain favor with God.)
>> Using God's name as a cuss word or carelessly in any form is never right.
>> Making anything (or anyone) in our lives more important in our lives than Him and pleasing Him is never right.
~ Those are absolutes. And they are things that we have all done and are guilty of. Those who are in Christ will be learning and growing in not doing these (and other things that displease Christ) while those in the world will consistently be trying to ignore or explain them away.
In conclusion, I want to add:
My thinking in posting these kinds of thoughts is because I think many Christians think they don't have to worry about them anymore after becoming a Christian. But, what they forget is that God saved us from the consequences of our rebellion, not to go back to our rebellion, but to grow in becoming dead to it. ~ May we all grow in encouraging each other to grow closer to Him, so we might more effectively reach the lost and disciple His followers.
~ food for thoughts ~ your bro/friend, and a growing servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH