My problem with wanting to be good.


I was talking (okay... emailing) about this with a friend of mine the other day. "I want to do good things, but then I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW," I admitted. She admitted similarly. 

I bet you can relate. You'll happily make the meal when visitors come... but you want them to know it was you making it and not Mum. You'll do an extra chore without asking... but you want a hearty thanks afterwards and recognition and praise for wow, your hard-core diligence! You'll clear up the chairs after coffee at Church, but let's be real, just so people will be like, "Wow, s/he's a good, Christian individual." You'll maybe pray long, because you know people are watching and observing and you know they'll admire you for it. You'll talk to the handicapped child, but mainly so that people will thank you for it afterwards.

I'm going to stop using 'you's... because this is me. So often, this is me. I want to be good, but it's for the wrong reasons.

I thought about this for a while and I decided: This is ironic! It is! I want to be good for God; it's why I want to be good - but then literally, while I try to be good, I do it in a way that is not good. It's ironic. It's sad. It's selfish ambition - a serious sin in the eyes for the Lord, by the way. It's the devil trying to turn a good ambition into a bad one. It's not cool.

I (so far, each paragraph in this post starts with the word 'I' - I mean, speaking of selfish ambition, guys) recently have started to listen to podcasts and I've (so far) listened to two that really helped me on this subject area. I realise I'm mainly parroting what I heard in the podcasts, but it was good stuff and I think it's worth a repeat.

The first podcast I listened to is called "Glory to God Alone." I started listening to it, thinking, oh yeah, this is going to be about God's amazing power and His Glory and how we should glorify that!" But when I finished it, I identified myself as a Glory robber.

Glory to God ALONE. (Alone being the keyword here!) 

We are Glory robbers. We take the glory, praise and honour that should all go to God and we want it, so desperately, to fall on us. We want to do good, but we want to get the glory for it! The glory we feel we deserve; the Glory that has to go to God alone.

The second podcast (Francis Chan... my favourite; he makes a thirty minute long sermon seem like ten short ones!) is called "Reputation vs Character" (listen to it plz) and the image Francis used to describe the message he was trying to bring out was really, really good. It struck a chord with me. I love it. He said that it's stupid for us to focus on our reputation (aka what people think / aka getting good character reviews from other people / aka craving good opinions) rather than our character. Francis brought his listeners to an imaginary setting of a guy who'd always put up a good reputation - a guy who did bad in secret. In this story, the man dies and goes to hell. "Will this man be like; oh, it doesn't matter; look - the people on earth at my funeral all say I'm a good person, so it's fine?" Francis asked the congregation.

It's stupid. It's not about our reputation. It's about our character - it's the real deal, not a play. If people think you're good, that doesn't make you good. God decides.

Being good is more than just doing. You and I, we have to do it for the right reasons. Let's try again!

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for this, once again you have straightened out my day. I do this all the time! Even without realizing it! But I will try to be better. Thank you!!

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    1. Writing it out straightened me out too... glad it helped you! :-)

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  2. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Yes yes yes. I'll have to listen to those podcasts.

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    1. IT IS! :-) Yes, do go and listen to them. :-)

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  3. Honestly, I really needed to read something like this. Thank you for your openness and podcast recommendations (I'm always on the lookout for something good to listen to while doing jobs etc).
    But overall - the subject is definitely something so many can relate to and yet we hate to admit to it. So thanks so much for writing this, Naomi!

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    1. Thank you for reading, Hannah! (Podcasts are so nice to listen to while doing jobs, I know. :-))
      I didn't realise how much of a problem I have with this till I wrote it down! So writing this post really helped me, too. :-)

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  4. For me, it's not always doing good for the recognition from others(although that too), but doing good so I can pat myself on the back and think about what a good, devout Christian I am and the poor, misguided people my age who should be so wise like me. Yeah, it's stupid. xD

    But yep, I am NOT who I should be striving to glorify, God is. Good reminder. :)

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    1. Yeah, I do that too... I relate to that A LOT! :-)

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  5. Wooooowwwwww this is really true. Everybody needs to be reminded of this -- including Emma.

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  6. Ouch. This is extremely convicting. Thank you, Naomi. I definitely needed to hear this.

    I'm so glad God is patient with us, because we certainly aren't quick learners when it comes to removing our focus from ourselves. :P

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  7. Haha, I don't actually have that problem. I hate being recognized for things; I'd much rather stay in the background and know that I did what I should, and if people notice, fine, but don't recognize it in front of people or anything. I don't mind being quietly thanked or something, but I hate attention and recognition from other people.
    That sounds like bragging, doesn't it. H'm. I don't mean that in a self-righteous way; I'm simply saying I don't relate. :/

    Either way, I completely agree with you about giving God the glory, and doing everything for him ALONE. It's the way we should all live, and I definitely need to work on that more. Thanks for that beautiful reminder.

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    1. Wow, that's so cool, Rae... good for you! I wish I was like that. :-)

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  8. Wow, this is so...I actually can't find the words for it. :)
    Loved this post, it inspires me to do better. I have that problem too.

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  9. Thank you so oooooo much for this!! I identify with this so much and really need to stop!!!

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  10. Spot on as usual 'N'

    ;)

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  11. Firstly, I didn’t know absolutely anything about podcast about God. Do you mean Christian podcast? Goodness! Can you lead me about where they are?

    Secondly, I totally agree. I see everyday how people take any glory to themselves. No doubt people have a high egoism, very high in fact and their thoughts are around themselves every second. “All to me and for me” That thought rule this world.

    And that is totally true! Our reputation? It doesn’t matter anything, people will gossip you for everything. Do you want to be good? People will gossip you. Do you want to be bad person? People will gossip you. Then? I’ll do what I want to do and What do I want to do? I want to be an echo of Christ. People will gossip me anyway.
    :D

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  12. You know...I don't think about this a lot. Thanks for sharing. It's an eye opener for me. I mean, I knew before that I wanted recognition for all the good *I* did, but this just showed me how MANY ways I do it. Ouch. Thanks for the podcast links, I'm looking for Christian podcasts, and these sound good.

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  13. I definitely fall short at being good for the right reasons, too. Thank you for reminding me of this, Naomi!!

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  14. So true!! I DEFINITELY struggle with this a lot; thanks for the post! Hopefully it'll remind me to refuse to do things only out of a desire to get noticed and appreciated and praised. "Glory to God ALONE" -- that's certainly something to mull over. Thanks again! :)

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  15. Hey, I'm famous. ;)

    Thanks for writing this post. I half suspected you might when we talked about it. It's so true, but in a way I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with this. We can all try again together. :)

    ~Miss Meg

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