“For not knowing about God’s righteousness [which is based on faith], and seeking to establish their own [righteousness based on works], they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” Romans 10:3 Amplified Bible
Until I heard a recent sermon, I believed Job from the Bible to be faultless even though I knew better because he was human. But you know how we’ve built him up, right? I aspired to be that same kind of faultless minus his misery.
It wasn’t until I heard Pastor JP say, “Job finally changed his attitude in the final chapter of Job, chapter 42” that I realized he needed to change anything.
God allowed Satan to test him because Job lived right for God, but Satan said it was only because everything went right for Job. Even though Job stayed true to God, he also defended his own goodness almost to the end. According to him, Job did everything right including offering sacrifices (Job 1:5) just in case his children sinned.
Job’s goodness landed him in Satan’s spotlight and turned out to be part of his undoing. However, I think his final undoing happened when he defended himself and his goodness instead of pointing to God’s goodness.
I’m not comparing my perfectionism nor my plights to Job’s (well, maybe a little), but I relate sometimes to questioning why my life’s ended up so painful when I’ve tried to do everything so right. I mean, compared to that person and that person and that person, I did okay.
I’ve listed before on here the things I tried hard to do perfectly … I’ve only been drunk twice in my life, seldom drink now, never smoked, and didn’t cuss until a Christian woman convinced me it was okay once in awhile. I was a virgin when I married and have only had sex with one man. I was voted “Most Dependable” in high school, tapped into National Honor Society, and on and on.
When I visited Israel, I heard manmade laws called “hedge laws.” We discussed them in Sunday school and decided we make them up because of pride and to be in control. Hedge laws dilute what God’s asking us to do, which is not to try hard, but to totally depend on Him and His goodness.
In other words, hedge laws aren’t good. Neither is my own goodness compared to His. Neither is thinking like Job that I can hold my own.
It doesn’t matter where I am on the sliding scale compared to Job’s goodness nor Billy Graham’s goodness nor Mother Teresa’s goodness … nor Hitler’s goodness or lack thereof. It doesn’t matter how good I intended to be. It doesn’t matter how hard I tried. We all end up in hell without God’s goodness.
And we end up in hell on earth until we accept God’s goodness right here and right now. It’s not just for heaven, but to heavenize our homes, our families, and our friendships as well as our businesses and churches and towns. I needed to finally get to chapter 42 and change my attitude right along with Job.
Thank You, God, for Your goodness. Nothing compares to it.
In This Together,
(This week, I’ll only blog today and tomorrow and be back next Wednesday for more.)
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.