Thursday, June 7, 2012

Understanding Good and Bad.

We need to understand good and bad. We need the ability to sort out the good and the bad. We live in a fallen world where both good and evil co-exist. In Changes That Heal we are told that in order to be healthy we need to have a world view that can assimilate both the good and the bad.

We have a natural tendency to try to separate good and bad; as Dr Cloud notes, "We want, by nature, to experience the good me, the good other, the good world as all good. To do this, we see the bad me, the bad other, the bad world, as all bad. This creates a split in our experience of ourselves, others, and the world around us--a split that is not based on reality and cannot stand the test of time and real life."

Many times new followers of Jesus fall into the trap of thinking that now, since they have become "new creatures in Christ," all of life will just magically fall into place for them. 

Kevin came to Christ as a young adult; he came out of a back-ground of alcohol and drugs, he grew up in the counter culture revolution of the 60s and 70s. When Kevin met his wife he planned for the perfect life--the "good life" the "ideal life," a life where bad did not exist with good, of course, how could bad be a part of his life, since he was now a Christian.

Kevin, indeed had the "good life," a steady job, a solid home church, and four healthy children. Kevin also had the ideal wife--a stay at home mom who was by all considered to be the ideal Proverbs 31 kinda of wife. But after the loss of his job which forced his wife into the job market, things began to unravel. Kevin started to question God on why these" bad things" were happening to him.

This led to despair and anger toward God. However, Keven finally came to realize that the Christian life does not promise us relief from any of the "bad" of this world. Kevin started to realize that in this world both bad and good do co-exist, and in order for him to be healthy and grow he must develop the ability to tolerate and deal simultaneously with the existence of both good and bad.

We must learn to live with the tension of both good and bad in this fallen broken world. We must find that balance in our lives that allows us to walk in the reality that not all is good, we must be able to tolerate badness, weakness, and failure in ourselves and others.

The follower of Christ can find much comfort in Ephesians 1:6 where the Apostle Paul tells us, " we are accepted in the beloved." For the believer the issue in not that we are bad when we do bad things and we are good when we do good things. The follower of Christ is in a constant "state of being loved" by God the Father. We confess our sin (1 John 1:9) to have our fellowship restored with our father---the same as telling your spouse that you are sorry for what you said or did, by doing this you restore or bring back your relationship into harmony

The believer does not walk in condemnation. The follower of Christ must realize that as long as he is in this world there will be bad---but we find our hope in the God of all grace who loves us unconditionally.

Our next post will deal with "when we fail to accept good and bad."

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