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Be Good



Spiritual Training Cycle: Examination (wk. 13/13)

 

“This week I am going to be good. No more candy, no more late-night snacking, I’m going to meal prep more and pick up fast food less.” Nod your head if you’ve ever said something similar

 

I’m going to be good. What does that even mean? As opposed to being bad? And what does bad even mean? Do we label it bad just because it’s the opposite of what we assume is good? It’s a lot of pressure and it’s extremely vague. It leaves a lot of room for error and by the time you’ve reached mid-week you’ve already lost the motivation to “be good”. Everyone has a different scale of bad vs. good. Especially when it comes to diet and exercise. What one influencer says is good another touts as bad. Society loves to keep us confused so that we are continually searching for the next dangling carrot of enough “goodness” to get the body or the fitness we’ve been searching for.

 

I’d say living out the Christian faith is very similar if you aren’t rooted in Jesus and God’s word. Like the diet and fitness culture, our worldly culture is constantly keeping us confused. There’s an enormous spectrum of what our world says is fine and “good” versus what the Bible says. If you have one foot rooted in Jesus and the other foot rooted in the world it’s a lot of pressure, it leaves a lot of room for error, and it keeps us in a cycle of trying to “be good” or earn goodness, feeling guilty, all the while searching for something constant and steady.

 

What a relief to know we do not have to walk this path alone. What a relief to know that goodness was woven into us before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 2:10 declares:

 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  

 

To understand just how much God wants to empower us with this verse I think it’s important to break down some of the key words to make it clearer:

 

good works (Titus 2:14) He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

 

prepared beforehand: (Eph 1:4) Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

 

walk in them: (Eph 4:1) Therefore I implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.

 

We have been created to walk in the manner worthy of God’s calling. When we are rooted in Jesus, we choose goodness not out of obligation or from some weird place of guilt, but because it has been woven into our souls and we realize life works best when we are walking, living, breathing this way.

 

You can white-knuckle your way into “being good” when it comes to your nutrition and fitness goals, force yourself to eat well and go to the gym, etc. But if it’s coming from a place or an attitude of restriction or guilt, you’ll most likely always surrender and fail long term. It’s the same with walking the Christian faith. If you’re having to force it or building the relationship from a place of guilt you’re missing the amazing gifts of goodness, peace, restoration, etc. that God wants us to experience. It’s a choosing of letting go of old habits and the exhaustion of trying to attain vs. realizing it’s an on-going experience. Your fitness journey never ends; it’s always a work in progress just as staying rooted in Jesus and his word is. Thankfully we are not on this journey alone.

 

Questions for Reflection:

When have you seen God’s goodness being played out in your life?

 

Who are some people you can name and pray for who help you stay rooted in Jesus and God’s word? Who needs your help? 

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