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C.S. Lewis

Am I a Good Person?

I think that a popular phrase for many people to identify their own faith in association with Christianity to say they are trying to be a “good person.” And this is where I have always had qualms. Besides the man Jesus Himself, who is or was a good person? I wouldn’t even say Jesus is good, I would say He is magnificent, awesome, indescribable, but “good” seems too misrepresented to even associate with our Lord.

I don’t think we should strive to be good people or good Christians; we should strive to follow Jesus and how he called us to be. Because let’s face it: we are all sinners and we have all been very bad. And how do we classify what is good? The terms “good” and “bad” have always, always confused me. I think it is because both words carry with them a certain level of our own human judgment over things, and I think that we have called too many bad things good and too many good things bad to be able to correctly use the words.

Also, when we expect Christians to be good people, they have and always will fall short. People will always disappoint us. When I ask someone if they are a Christian and I ask them to define that, often times I’ve heard people say, “Well I’m just trying to be a good person, you know?”

How sad that we have lowered out eternal walk with Christ to, “Just trying to be a good person.”

I would instead challenge us to be careful with the language we use. Let’s dispel the rumor of the phrase “a good person” when associated with us as Christians. We are broken but faithful. We may not always feel the Lord and be living out what He called us to do, but He is good and He is sticking with us.

C.S. Lewis says, “All right, Christianity will do you good — a great deal more good than you ever wanted or expected. And the first bit of good it will do you is to hammer into your head (you won’t enjoy that!) the fact that what you have hitherto called “good” —all that about “leading a decent life” and “being kind” isn’t quite the magnificent and all important affair you supposed. It will teach you that in fact you can’t be “good” (not for twenty-four hours) on your own moral efforts.”

Kelly Thoma, UMin Intern