So when I was in high school I had this nickname. Not one of those cute abbreviations of my name or endearing pet names by a boyfriend or best friend. No, this nickname was bestowed upon me by the kids in my school who knew very little about me at all. They were the kids that saw me in class, but that was it. Some I knew better than others, but none more than a simple acquaintance. My nickname? GG….which stood for “Goody-Goody.”
In high school, I was THAT girl. You know, that churchy girl who never did anything wrong. I was the girl who got good grades, never swore, never partied, never ever got a detention, and never broke the rules. Not only was I this seemingly perfect portrait of an ideal teenager, I was also very quick to let you know just how awesome I was and just how awful you were.
I remember finding out a girl in one of my classes who claimed to be a Christian had gotten herself pregnant. One day in class we were talking about it and I made the following comment: “Well it’s obvious she’s not a Christian at all. Real Christians like me aren’t dumb enough to do something like that. We know better.” Yep..I was THAT girl for sure. To the kids at my school I was GG, to others, I was a much more colorful word. Either way, there was something a bit off about me.
We’ve covered a lot of different topics in our short five months of life. However, there is one we really haven’t looked at. It’s this concept of self-righteousness. We all possess it. We all flesh it out in our lives. And we are all wrong in doing so. But let me back up a bit.
Let me take you back to Eden for a second. Here is God, creating all that exist in our world and beyond. With each thing he created He saw that it was good. However, it wasn’t until God had created man that he declared creation very good. Good. That was label given to our race at the very beginning. It was who we were and what defined us. God saw us as good. Pure, blameless, and loved by him. And then…well we ate that stupid piece of fruit. In that exact second our goodness left us. No longer could we be defined as good because we weren’t good. And for the next two thousand plus years we have been working our tushies off to try and reclaim that title of goodness in our lives. Sadly, in our quest, we have seriously taken a wrong turn.
We (and by we I mean females) especially battle with this sin of self-righteousness. In our quest to be not only accepted, but seen as good, we tend to look down on the mistakes and misfortunes of others. We are quick to make assumptions of someone based on little knowledge of the person and often give them a very undeserving label. We talk and we talk and WE TALK constantly about other people behind their backs, sometimes in the name of prayer, all the while puffing ourselves up to be the superior person. We do this because if others can be seen as bad and insignificant we can be seen as good and worthy of praise and recognition.
So let me burst your bubbles gals….you will never be good. Never. Ever. No matter how many A’s you get, how many modest clothes you wear, whether you wait til your wedding day to have your first kiss, no matter how many hours a day you pour over your bible in quiet times you will still never be good. NEVER. In truth, I feel this idea to be “good” and to call ourselves good can be more of a hindrance to our faith than that of any other “big” sin we have discussed before. Because in claiming our own goodness, we are making very little of Jesus.
Let’s take a look at Titus 3:5 for a second. “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy…” Or Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It os a gift of God, not of works..so that no man should boast.” Scripture is pretty evident in explaining to us that we aren’t good and our goodness will never be able to make us right before God. Mark 2:17 puts it best. Jesus tells a group of people, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.” What he in essence is saying here is that Jesus came to earth for those who are aware of their non-goodness. Those people recognize their own sickness and know that they need a healer. For those who battle with self-righteousness, he didn’t come for. Reason being, those people will always try to get better on their own merit and efforts. So the question is: Are you sick, or are you healthy?
Jesus Christ was and always will be the only good person to ever exist. He was flawless. He loved like he should, got angry only in righteous fury and died at the hands of men and women all wanting to kill him for their own relief of feeling good about themselves. Yet..and this is a big yet…in his death, he covered each of us with HIS goodness. So now when we are looked upon by our Heavenly Father he doesn’t see our ugliness and failure and pride, he sees Jesus. And to God, Jesus is truly good.
So where do we go from here, ladies? Simply put, it’s time to get over yourself. Time to stop feeling like you are worthy of being admired and seen as good. It’s time for you and me to stop thinking that by being the “best” means we win some Jesus award or extra favor with him. And it’s time to let go of our own selfish pride and finally admit that we don’t have it all together. Author Charles Spurgeon says, “The greatest enemy to a human soul is a spirit of self-righteousness.” If we continue down this path of claiming our own goodness, we will never get to experience the joy of letting the Father do his work in our lives in his way and in his time.
Ladies, let’s seek to allow ourselves to embrace the fact that we are screwed up. Imagine how much easier life would be if we allowed ourselves to live in the knowledge that we are failures, but with the hope that we have a mighty God who overcame all of them for us. The freedom we would experience would be immeasurable. It’s time for us to take off our pair of goodie two-shoes and wear the name that was graciously given to us so long ago: “Redeemed Daughters of the King”