Can You Out-Good Your Bad?

6 “With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?*

We’ll use all kinds of manipulation tactics when faced with our wrongs.  “But I go to church!”  “I’m a good person!”  “I walk dogs at the pound!”  Or maybe out of guilt, we decide to make up for our wrongs.  Nothing like some good, ol’ fashioned penance.

But God doesn’t want your sacrifice.  In fact, any good work founded in guilt will only sway with your emotions.  It’s about who you are.  Are you the kind to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God?  This is the life to which you are called, stemming not from guilt…just doing enough to not make God so displeased…but really, really flourishing.

*Vanderbilt Divinity Library. (2009). United Methodist Revised Common Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.


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