Basically, I’d Like to Think I’m a Good Person

Most people, if you ask them, will tell you that basically they think they are a good person. And I understand the logic in place that brings them to that conclusion. In fact, during times of emergencies or in situations where injustice to others is involved, especially children, you will see acts of kindness and concern and helpful intervention or assistance demonstrated by others. I get it, just about everyone, at some point in time, demonstrates consideration and caring for others. In fact, there are numerous individuals within our society that have dedicated their lives to helping others in one form or another.

We also see, within our society, numerous examples where individuals of all ages are encouraged to be confident in their own abilities and self worth. I get that too. Some individuals take pleasure in putting others down or take advantage of their position of authority or power over others. Having a balanced overview of your own self worth is also a positive attribute to have, key word being “balanced”.

One of the important words in the initial statement is “basically”. What that usually means is that “more times than not” or “most of the time” is subsequently applicable. That obviously leaves some room for exceptions and once again, most mature individuals can easily admit that they are not perfect, that they have been or can be inconsiderate of others or self centred at times. Being self centred could be loosely defined as when an individual places their own preferences, welfare and well being over the preferences, welfare and well being of others. An example of this could be where an individual says they want what they want and they do not care how what they want impacts others.

One of the most difficult concepts for some people to comprehend is the idea of a holy God and what in fact constitutes sin. Most of us are familiar with the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament when God, who is holy, indicates the various “thou shalt not’s” that are contrary to His nature. Anyone who violates these “thou shalt not’s” is basically doing something which is contrary to the nature of God. The violations are called sin or the transgression or breaking of God’s laws.

Accountability is key. If one knows what is right or wrong or acceptable or not acceptable and subsequently decides to transgress or violate a particular law that God has indicated is not acceptable, then they are accountable for that transgression in the eyes of God. God’s standard is perfection, our standard, not so much.

One can of course, choose to believe that God does not exist and then the accountability issue becomes a non-issue from the perspective of the individual who has made this decision. However, if God does exist, which indeed He does, the individual’s decision and belief that they are not accountable, is in fact an invalid belief and they are still subject for their accountability to God.

Short story is just because you deny God’s existence does not negate you from your accountability to Him. If God is real, which He is, your misguided decisions do not negate the consequences of transgressing or breaking His Laws.

In the Old Testament we are given numerous examples of how the working out of these concepts function from a practical perspective. Israel was and is God’s chosen people and God provided them with His Laws, which they could decide to adhere to or ignore. When they decided to follow His Laws, their shortfalls were covered over with the sacrificial offerings and they were the recipients of the promised benefits. When they decided to ignore Him and His Laws and make their own decisions of what was deemed as acceptable and not acceptable “in their own eyes”, they once again became the recipients of God’s promised consequences. There are many many lessons to be learned in the Old Testament.

One of the major problems that a lot of people have in understanding God is that they do not understand what holy means. There is no deviation in holy, no exceptions, no sliding rule of standard. God’s standard is absolute and not the sliding rule standard that many think He uses. It is not about your good deeds outnumbering your bad deeds, it is not about all those kind things that you did do, it’s about everything, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Leviticus 19:2 NIV “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them; “Be holy because I the Lord your God, am holy.”

Holy is so much more than a word, it is the very essence of God, who He is, pure light, no darkness, absolute goodness, without deviation of even the smallest kind.

Imagine if you will that you have a son that you love and that son is currently in prison because he murdered someone. As his parent, you could say that you love him and that he basically is a good person, except for that one mishap where he murdered someone. If that was your son, your son would not be holy.

The Law in the Old Testament was given to show Israel and us that we cannot perfectly follow and be like God in and of ourselves. That “oneness” with God was broken a long time ago when we were given the option of deciding what is right and wrong and we in essence could become our own god. In order to fix this problem, we needed to be shown by God what the problem really was. What actually separates us from God, why our nature is not like His, why our ways are not His ways.

The kicker always has been that God is 100 % holy and we, try as we might, are not. The short story is that no one can perfectly follow God’s holy ways. When Jesus came in the flesh as the Son of God, He told us that He had not come to do away with the Law but rather to fulfill it.

Matthew 5:17 NIV “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

Only He could do it because only Jesus perfectly followed the will of the Father and did not transgress or break any of God’s Laws. Only Jesus was without sin.

That’s why Jesus, God’s Son, the Messiah is so special, He is God’s answer to our transgressions of His nature, He redeems us, offers us the option to be “born again” back into His kingdom, so that our faith and trust in Him is renewed and returned to where it rightfully belongs.

Romans 8:1-4 NIV “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

So if you reject Jesus, who God our Father sent, to make us right with Him again, you in essence commit the biggest error in judgement mistake you can possibly make and the accountability condemnation issue we all have with being holy, remains yours.

So it’s not about are you a good person, it’s about are you in Christ Jesus.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. A small group from our church meets at our house every Sunday night and we are reading and discussing a 10 week study on holiness. This fits perfect, and may even use some of your thoughts in our weekly discussion, Bruce!!

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