Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goodness versus Godliness

We had an interesting conversation last night in class. Do Christians corner the market on goodness? Also, is goodness the same as Godliness and vice versa?

The scriptural base of this conversation was 1 Timothy, chapter 6. Sometimes Christians think that non-Christians can't share "goodness" because they are not Godly. Can a non-Christian still be good?

For my Christian friends, before you jump all over me and say, "Christians never think that, " think real hard about your prejudices. Have you ever met an outspoken atheist and automatically jumped to conclusions about his or her stances on various topics? How do you feel about Muslims? What if you met someone that was evangelizing for Scientology? I don't want you to answer these questions publicly, just think about them and answer them honestly to yourself.

The Bible says that all good things come from God but it does not say you have to be a Christian to experience those good things or even to share them with others. I believe that everyone has a spirit and thus everyone can tap into "goodness." This is completely separate and apart from any discussion of salvation or belief in the source. I think it is programmed into us simply because we are made in God's image. I think it is arrogant of us to think that other people, non-Christians, can't do good things. It is also a limitation we place on God.

On a different note (only slightly), I read "The Go-Giver" yesterday. Great little book. You should read it. One of the ideas in there is that you can't successfully have influence if you don't give (I badly paraphrased there). This is a very important lesson for Christians. Quit trying to convert people. YOU can't convert a non-believer, that's God's job. Instead of trying to convert, focus on what you can do--give and give abundantly. Give your time, give your money, give your heart, give your ear. Give whatever you have to the service of others. If you give, you will have fantastic success. You may also be surprised at how many people see God in you and think you are a good and Godly person. That's how you start the process for God to convert someone. Don't focus on the end result ("conversion"), just give and let the rest happen.


Daniel said...
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Daniel said...

Great points here. Thanks for putting them out there.

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