In business, we often say that good is the enemy of great (and quickly fix that with books like Good to Great by Jim Collins).
But have you ever thought about the good that opposes the best when it comes to our spiritual life?
Philippians 4:8 tells us
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
just as the Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that the fruit of the spirit is
… love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
So naturally, especially as a new Christian a decade ago, I spent a great deal of time aspiring to these concepts.
The only problem is that I always ultimately come short.
So then should I abandon those moral goals altogether? Not quite.
But perhaps we may need to rethink them.
After I read the following by Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, it caused me to pause:
The things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best. Once we come to understand that natural moral excellence opposes or counteracts surrender to God, we bring our soul into the center of its greatest battle. Very few of us would debate over what is filthy, evil and wrong, but we do debate over what is good.
It is the good that opposes the best.
The higher up the scale of moral excellence a person goes, the more intense the opposition to Jesus Christ…The natural life is not spiritual, and it can made spiritual only through sacrifice. If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us.
Ultimately, I took this passage to mean that all of us may disagree on what is in fact ‘good’…and we can waste so much energy and time, not only trying to achieve ‘good’, but trying to prove and convince others of that definition.
Instead, why not focus on surrendering our lives and will to God and with that will come the moral clarity so many of us seek.
Really, the equation becomes so much more attainable when we put our efforts in God’s hands instead of our own, wouldn’t you agree?