“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust. A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
Doing good is not a means to and end. Instead it is a byproduct of God’s love as His children.
We do not know goodness without knowing the Good News. Any good we talk about without knowing God is short lived and is done in the flesh which never lasts long.
As Lewis pointed out in this quote how do we know what a straight line is without having a standard to know it is straight? A great example of this is the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. People of the old covenant or Old Testament tried to do good. They attempted to follow the law in order to be a good people. They had enough laws to establish the line between good and bad, straight or crooked. However, everyone failed in rising up to what the law outlined as being good.
So how could people attain the goodness that the law said was right, good, and holy?
The answer is found only in Jesus!
The New Testament or New Covenant was a new situation and a game changer. The laws stayed the same but people now had an example of what good, righteous, and holy looked like. They had Jesus Christ.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
Jesus changed the world by just being born. He was born to set the standard that the Hebrews knew were the right way to live. With his birth Jesus also introduced three important characteristics of His goodness: love, mercy, and grace.
Can you imagine what good would be like today if we did not have His love, mercy, and grace? I may not be a biblical scholar but I am going to guess that we would be stuck in the Old Testament frame of mind. We would be living, thinking that we are living in a straight line and condemning others for not living according to our personal standards.
How wonderful that we have love, mercy, and grace! I am most thankful that God showed us His standard in the form of His son, Jesus Christ, who is that straight line. We no longer have to guess what it looks like. We know that it is real!
The hard question we must ask ourselves is are we living like the Hebrews of the Old Testament trying to do good in order to appear good. Or are we living and acknowledging that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is our guide–our straight line that shows us what is good. How does he show us?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1
God wants us to have faith in Him and He wants us to believe things before we see them. However, because it takes practice to live by Hebrews 11:1 God knows that our flesh is weak and that we need help to understand things. Our wonderful and loving Heavenly Father knows us too well so he sent us a visual example of what His goodness looks like in order to increase our faith in Him and His goodness.
Just as I started this post with a Lewis quote I will end with another one. It is a quote that I have often times wondered in reflection, “Is this me Lord”? Am I the one content with making mud pies when God has offered me a holiday at the sea. There are so completely different that the one who is content with making mud pies would never think God’s goodness could build a bridge to a holiday at the sea. Am I too blind to realize that God’s goodness is infinite. I suppose it takes time to learn to embrace all the things God has for me. He has the same for you too! It’s time to embrace all the things God has for each one of us, His Beloved!
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” -C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)