Tainted Good Works

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Ask almost anyone if they are a good person and they will respond yes.  Often they will go on to rattle off their list of good deeds–kind to their wife and children, good employee, volunteer in the community.  Yet, the reality is that most of us have an inflated view of our own holiness.  The Scripture teaches that if we break one part of the law we’ve broken all of it.  So maybe we haven’t commited adultery but we’ve lusted.  Or we haven’t stolen but we’ve coveted somebody’s possessions.  The point is that we are law breakers and deserve to pay for our sins.  To add insult to injury the Scripture even teaches that our good works are like filthy rags.  Meaning that even our good acts are often tainted.  Let me give you one goofy example from my own life.  A few weeks ago my parents and Dellie and my son Joe all went to a coffee shop downtown.  I paid the bill which was small since we all got coffee or soda.  Then I threw a bill in their tip jar.  As the bill was falling in I noticed it was a $5 not a $1 as I intended.  Now for a split second I considered grabbing the bill out of the tip jar and putting in what I intended but I didn’t.  I let it go.  Now if you’re the coffee shop employee watching the incident you would think that my tip was generous and think what a good guy.  But the reality is very different, that “generous” act was tainted by my motives and intentions.  This is just one example of how even our goodness is tainted by our sinfulness.  My pride is what kept that $5 in the tip jar not my generosity.  

We are not perfect.  We are not good enough to earn heaven (100% perfection required).  We are sinners who need a savior.  Thankfully God loves us enough to provide one in His Son Jesus Christ.  Something to think about.

Under His Mercy,

Derek Dickinson, Minister

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