Good?

100_1572So here’s a deep question: do you ever doubt if you’re a good person?

I know I do. Quite a bit. Because people who care what the answer is will ask the question.

There’s a couple different ways to answer it, depending on your world view. Some might say we’re all good, we’re all not good. No one’s different from another.

I’m not saying this show is vein of good morality, but it works for this example, Phineas and Ferb has one minor character who actually believes evil does  not exist. The villain’s ex-wife, ironically enough. She deliberately sees no evil, no evidence of it, to the frustration of her daughter.

Unfortunately the show is realistic on this one point: that kind of thinking will lead to exactly the kind of confusion the daughter experiences. Her dad owns being evil, and pushes her one way, and her mom’s view doesn’t exactly have the backbone to resist the pressure. The daughter, Vanessa, has a whole personage that reflects the confusion between the two points of view.

The sad thing is, like most of us, she is not naturally a mean or insensitive person. Like all of us, she is confused.

Aren’t we? Can you imagine a generation of more confused people than us? Gender confused, race confused, morally confused, and doesn’t it all come back to what’s acceptable, or what should be?

One group denies that there’s any real boundaries, that we should all be whatever we want. Another group just seems to want to corrupt all of us. (I’ll leave you to think of who this is, we all think there is one.) And sadly, a lot of people don’t know of any other options. Like Vanessa, we have only the two. And it’s hard to imagine anything different.

But I don’t live this way. I live with the same struggle as everybody, that is of choosing good things over bad things, and growing my character instead of destroying it. Let me share with you a metaphor that a father gave his son once:

A  Man’s character is like a house. He can build on it, adding boards; but every time he takes away from his character, it’s like tearing boards of the house, till eventually there’s nothing left.

I’m afraid I couldn’t quote exactly what he said, but you get the idea. (I recommend the book, Little Britches.)

I struggled everyday with whether I was evil or not for a long time. And the thing is, the struggle won’t end by simply coming to the conclusion you’re good; that only makes it a little less, for a few minutes; then you do something bad, and it’s back on. Harder than ever.

Man’s search for goodness is the realest part of his earthly journey. Trying to pretend it’s null and void doesn’t make it go away, it only robs people of the awareness they need to find the answer. Honestly, only silly people believe that evil doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean I think we should focus on it, no , I think you all know me better than that.

Who of us started out wanting to be the villian? Who of us thought evil was the way to go when we were young? Why are we teaching our own children that?Is it to spare themt he dissappointment of realizing what we realized, that we can’t keep it up. Did we accpet being at elast partly bad, becuase we found no way to avoid it.

I accept that I’ll make mistakes, but I don’t accept that I have to be that person. Not because I am stronger than anyone else, but because I have someone who  took the burden of goodness off my shoulders. That’s what Christianity is really, it’s getting the goodness of another applied to you. A human court would not allow an innocent person to take the punishment for the guilty. Even if it was willingly.

This is interesting, the first skepticism I ever ran into, as a little child, was skepticism that God could really give up His own son, to die, for us. Why would He do it? What good human parent would do that? Aren’t we christians crazy, if for no other reason, because we think a Good God would do that?

Hey, if you think that is crazy, that’s okay. I won’t judge you. I don’t even blame you. But I do have this to say, Love knows no bounds. Human love can, at it’s best, forgive people for doing horrible things, and even lay down it’s life for someone. Take Batman as an example, or Superman, the represent the epitome of human sacrafice. They are wiling to die, even to save the lives of their enemies, because they value  life. And real life pilcie officers, fire men, soldiers, and everyday citizens make those sacrafices too. More often than the news lets on I’m sure.

But if you read any of the minor prophets of the Bible, (or watch the news) you’ll know that God has a laundry list of things against us. Whether you beleive in Him or not, you’d agree that the stuff He accuses us of is pretty heavy. Sometimes so much that you think “what is wrong with us?” Why would God stop accusing us, and actually make His son, the only sinless person ever to walk the earth, take the punishment for us?

Because as beautiful as the Greatest of human loves is, God’s love is greater. He loves not just His friends but His enemies. More than we love our own family, He loves His enemies. And that is the hardest thing of all to beleive.Many people will believe He exists. But to beleive in His love, even his own children have a hard time with that. I speak from experience.

This is what keeps me free.This is what I can say when I start to wonder about my own goodness. That I might not be good on my own, but God made me good, and He paid for it.

To all the Vanessas out there who are confused about life, and themselves, you don’t have to be. If you look for truth, eventually you’ll find it. As long as you don’t settle for second best.

Signing off–Natasha.

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