Jesus said, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone."
And that's the end of the blog. Just kidding.
But whether you're a follower of Christ or not, it's notable that the man that most people herald as, at the very least, "good" denounced his own goodness and pointed to God (Mark 10:18). I made a case in our previous blog that LeBron James is a good dude. And it led me to ask the question, where does good come from anyway?
I think most of us believe ourselves to be good. We all have some accomplishment or quality that we can point to and therefore make a case for our goodness. This is going to sound crazy, but I don't think the organization that I co-founded and run is really worth all that much in the way of casing myself as good. In other words, it doesn't do anything to contribute to my goodness or the goodness of my other founders. Basically, I'm saying if I had to count on that in front of God Almighty as my passage into his presence, I'd be in trouble.
I could come up with at least ten selfish reasons for why I created something, which in itself is good (SuNica). I'll spare you the list. This isn' t to say that you or I am incapable of doing something good. Of course we are. We do things that make the "good" list every day. Personally, I'm interested in folks who do good just for the hell of it. People who don't subscribe to some kind of faith, that is. I wonder where their urge comes from, or more so, where the person believes the desire comes from.
In the Old Testament book of Genesis, it talks about how we were made in God's image, revealing that we have some of his qualities. People of my faith often chat about whether or not humans are inherently good or evil. I could talk for an hour on why, but I think the answer is both. It seems to me that we have a sense of right and wrong wired into us and we're capable of doing either. In Roman's 6, Paul talks about becoming slaves to obedience rather than slaves to sin. If I value wealth or power or financial security, I will make myself a slave to making money, because we all know that making money produces such things. If the thing I most value is a relationship with Jesus, then I'm going to make myself a slave to obeying him, which will ultimately produce fruits which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I think SuNica exists because the co-founders and I believe that Jesus was God and lived a perfect life and died the death that we deserved. By following him (regardless of how well), we somehow get to be accepted as children into his family. In some cosmic exchange of penance, I get to spend eternity with the good father that created me. That's what we call the gospel, and it's so good that it's worth skipping out on the normal pursuits of the American Dream in order to chase something else. For me, it includes leading this organization that we call SuNica, a grand adventure where safety isn't always included, but there's goodness around every corner. For every kid that we get to send to school who would otherwise be digging through trash, we do in response to the grace that has been shown us by God. Any clean water project that we might complete, we do because God is good, and in the kingdom that He's building, there will be no lack of education for youngsters and no lack of clean water. The reason those things lack here on earth is because we, the creation, have lacked. We were meant to do better. One day, I believe that we will.