“how can we be good people?”
apparently, this is going to be the question of the night at house church tomorrow evening. i guess, through all of my spiritual questions, the one constant has been a desire to “love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” love God. love neighbor. that, to me, is being a good person boiled down to its very essence. if only we could figure out what THAT means…
“this is what love is, to lay down your life for your friends…” (I john) lay down your life, death to self, etc., whatever. i think i’m much better at asking questions than finding any tangible answers.
what is goodness, anyway? and if the evangelical belief that you need to be “saved” is true, then what is the point of being good? i have a difficult time saying that my truly good, kind, loving friends are going to hell. i don’t just mean “good” people, but those who love their neighbor enough to lay down their lives in a heartbeat, and those who love God as they perceive God. so, does it make me a heretic if i believe they aren’t going to hell? or if i believe that a truly good God would have to embrace them at the judgement? i’ve been reading “a grief observed” by c.s. lewis the past few days. it’s his journal entries following the death of his wife after her battle with cancer. through the process, lewis never doubts the existence of God, but does question his goodness…one interesting thought is the idea that, in our limited human understanding, we simply can’t grasp what real goodness is…:
ok. i was looking through the book for the quote from the period when lewis was really wrestling with the goodness/badness of God. but then i found a few other things that seemed to grab my spirit…
“when i lay these questions before God, i get no answer. but a rather special sort of ‘no answer.’ it is not the locked door. it is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. as though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. like, ‘peace, child; you don’t understand.’
can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? quite easily, i should think. all nonsense questions are unanswerable…”
“and now that i come to think of it, there’s no practical problem before me at all. i know the two great commandments, and i’d better get on with them.”