July 2, 2005, 4:59 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

One point of reflection I’ve had since meeting with Jim the other day is this: most people would rather think of themselves as “right” than “good.” This includes many I’ve come across within the emerging church scene. Even while claiming to want to break the rules and be creative, they aren’t willing to risk being dangerous, simply because they don’t want to be wrong. This is primarily a theological reference, but it can bleed over into other areas as well. They pride themselves on having the right theology.

But I wonder how much thought they give to being good. A lot of us do good things, and we do them for good reasons (in other words, we have good motives). But are we focused on doing these things because we want to be good, or because it’s just the right thing to do? I may be splitting hairs here, but this is an important concept to me. I want to not only live in a pattern that Jesus lived (which produces good actions), but want to be like Jesus . . . in other words, I want to be good. This is an incarnational statement. If I am good, and my heart is good, then good things will flow out.

Now, either approach – being right vs. being good can lead to spiritual pride. But if I am right, then I can take credit for my stellar and rigorous thinking and behavior. If I am good, I have to acknowledge that I am so partly because of my submission to the work of the Spirit, and partly because of the grace given to me as Jesus lives through me.

Just a couple of Saturday evening thoughts before I sit down to dinner with the one I love.


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