My generation has been the cheerleader for the “we’re mostly good people” movement. I’m sure that the 60’s and 70’s generation caused a lot of the original problem, but I can’t help but feel like the idea that “I’m mostly a good person” has only been exacerbated during the last 5 or 6 years. I say “exacerbated” because, yes, this way of thinking is a problem. Its a huge problem.
I want to include a clip here from a Mark Driscoll sermon that touches on what I’m saying. Driscoll is the Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.
Driscoll specifically addresses the myth that we are good people that do bad things something (ie “that murderer was a really good guy that just got caught up in something bad”). He talks here about how realistically people that produce bad fruit are bad people (a bad tree produces bad fruit, a good tree produces good fruit) LUKE 6:43-45. He said that the only way to change who we are as people is accept the grace of Christ and be changed. Then he made the point that the new life we receive from Jesus is still still a flawed, human existence because we are humans. That is the point that I want to focus on here.
Christians are bad people too.
One of the reasons that we think that we are good people is that the lines between good and evil have all but disintegrated. We suffer from a cultural elitism that causes us to shrug off the failings of those around us and treat them as “the bad people”. When you look at someone who has murdered, had an affair, gotten belligerently drunk, or lost their money gambling and think “I could never do that” you are lying to yourself and creeping that much closer to falling yourself.
When you safeguard your heart with your pride, you are closing your eyes to the fact that we can all fall. We all have the potential to lie, steal, cheat, and kill. We are all sinful humans. I like how my church’s associate pastor Nic Gibson puts it. He said that he and his wife have an understanding that they are never more than 30 days from an affair. That way they are always on the lookout for chances to stumble.
Don’t ever get comfortable.