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Goodness Me!

Many people try to be good. Conscious awareness of the need to make good choices, to be kind, respectful, and tolerant is important in the attempt to be a good person.

My idea of good is different to what the bible talks about though, so it does cause me to reflect on what goodness might otherwise be.

The bible takes goodness to a whole new level. It talks about purity and holiness. It says no one is truly good except God (Matthew 19:17). Why is this level of goodness so crucial, and can we attain it?

1 Peter 1:22a

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth….

Right there is where the difficulty starts. Purity and obedience. Two alien words in our culture.

Who truly wants to be pure? And who even relates with the idea of obeying a truth? The world’s message is to bend ‘truth’ to suit ourselves. Why does the bible speak differently?

Because it’s good. It's good for our soul. Good for our health. Good for our morality. It’s good for the world.

We purify ourselves by obeying the truth. Not “a” truth. Not “yours” or “my” truth. THE truth.

Truth is an absolute. It’s not an opinion.

The Word of God is truth (John 17:17). The Word of God is the bible – that is, Jesus Christ in written form. We purify ourselves by obeying Him, His Word, the truth of who He is. It’s not just a theory or a concept written in a book. It’s not just about listening or knowing. You could say, it’s about a spiritual phenomenon, something bigger than humanity, who became human so we could relate with Him. That right there, my friends, is called love. And the bible tells us, God is Spirit (John 4:24) and God is love (1 John 4:8,16) and we know Him in Spirit (by faith) and in truth (reasoned understanding) (John 4:24).

1 Peter 1:15

Just as He who called you is holy, be holy in all you do.

1 Peter 1:14

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

Holiness isn’t human goodness. It isn’t living by our own standard of right and wrong. Holiness is being separated from what is wrong, not just evil as we would see evil.

There is the intention here to get rid of everything that is impure. Anything that doesn’t measure up to God’s standard. For that to take place, we need a heart to be close to God. A heart to be intimate with Him above anyone else. To know Him truly and be known by Him. A desire to relinquish what is impure and what is okay in this world, and be made whole by His standard.

If we can receive that, we can understand that purification through obedience is a gift. It releases us from the baggage we carry around. The negativity, the shame, the anger and judgments, the resentments, insecurities, emptiness and hopelessness. All the things that cause our unhappiness. Part of becoming obedient to the truth is releasing all of that stuff, and who doesn’t want to get rid of all that pain and futility? Purity is a cleansing that can’t be done on our own. It’s a releasing of the need to justify ourselves, a reconciling with the need for more than what we are, and a receiving from Him what we lack.

It’s all on His terms – because He is good and we are not.

Freedom is found in Christ because of who He is and who we are not. It’s a totally different world view. We were created to live in Him. In Him is all goodness, all purity, all hope, all authority, all power, all love. If we don’t consciously live in Him, we don’t live in all of that to full measure. We will remain broken. Unrepentant. When we live in Him, we no longer carry our brokenness, we embrace the process of being made whole. When we enter into that process we enter into the way of love. Not a selfish love that serves to fill our own needs before someone else’s. That kind of love is impure and isn’t truly love. It is the nature of the world. God’s goodness stems from His pure love, the essence of love itself.

1 Peter 1:22

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from a pure heart.


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