When Pretty Good is Pretty Bad
A great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. Acts 6:7
In my addiction, I knew I needed to change. I understood that I was headed for disaster and that I had to radically alter my course if I wanted recovery. I was aware that I was a mess and that I desperately needed to abandon myself to follow God. Knowing that I required transformation was my one asset.
In recovery now, nearly 6 years later, it’s tempting sometimes to imagine that I have it all figured out. I’m sober. I write a blog. I get up early every day to point my life at God. I’ve really got my life all together. Maybe I need to work on some little things, but I don’t have much room to grow. I’m a pretty good person. In such a state – in being pretty good – I don’t require change or discipline. In this condition, I become stagnant and apathetic. Pretty good becomes the enemy of continued growth and transformation, which is supposed to be the daily Christian life.
In today’s passage, we’re told of the expansion of the early church. Daily, through the tireless work of the apostles, many in Jerusalem came to know Christ. Even some priests, who were supposed to be the religious leaders, repented and followed Jesus. These were the religious elite who were thought to know everything about the scriptures. In choosing to follow Christ, it must have taken tremendous humility to say, I imagined I was wise. I thought I knew it all, but I did not. I’m now ready to turn my life around to follow Jesus. Those priests didn’t allow their advanced education, pedigree, or spiritual maturity get in the way of their need.
This is where a lot of us find ourselves. Maybe we grew up in church and have been Christians our whole lives. We don’t drink, smoke, swear, or gamble. We’re pretty good people. In being pretty good, we’re blind to our pride, condescension, apathy, selfishness, greed, lust, and gluttony. Because we don’t struggle with any horrific sin, we don’t really see the need for daily crucifixion and transformation. We’ve become stagnant and pretty good, has become our excuse to do absolutely nothing.
If we truly want to live by faith, experiencing the life, joy, and peace that is found in daily following Christ, we must accept that we require continual transformation. Daily, we must choose to abandon ourselves so we may radically follow Christ.