What Are You Doing Here? | The Ache of Failure | Inflated Goodness
We are all infected and impure with sin… our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6
“I’m really a good person,” Alec said. “I don’t know why I cheated on my wife, I am not that type of person.” Pastor Andrew frowned and gave a brief nod. “That may be your problem Alec. You have too high an opinion of yourself. That IS who you are. That’s who I am. Without the power of God flowing through my spirit, there are no limits to the level of debauchery I may indulge in. Left to ourselves, we are sin-coated, self-worshiping, lust-infused, sons of the devil. It’s our exalted opinion of our own righteousness that gets us in trouble. We play into the devil’s hands when we get too confident of our own ability to avoid sin. You’ve resisted surrendering your life to the Lord, Alec, but maybe this is a wakeup call.”
Most of us have an inflated opinion of our own goodness. Ask 50 random strangers if they consider themselves basically good and nine times out of ten, they will say yes. They may have a lifetime of immorality, addiction, deception, and greed defining them, but they adjust their standard so that they still consider themselves good. A mother usually describes he worst scoundrel lying in his casket as “a good boy.” But we’re not good. None of us (Rom. 3:10). If we understood that, we wouldn’t be so surprised when our true nature shows up. Our actions only reveal what is hidden in our hearts. Failure reminds us that without the grace and power of God in our lives, we’re capable of some terrible things. God uses our disappointment with ourselves to remind us how much we need His strength to live the way He wants us to.
Final Thought: Do you have an inflated opinion of your own goodness? Satan is setting you up for a huge fall.
Prayer: Father, I’ve struggled with pride in some area where I feel I excel. But I don’t want to put any faith in my own goodness. Anything good in me is because of you. Keep me humble and clinging tightly to your mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.