008 | No One

... it's important not to let our understanding of sin cause us to misunderstand God. It's true, he hates sin. But it's not true that he enjoys catching people in their sins, as so many seem to think. In fact, his desire for us is just the opposite. He's actively looking for those who are seeking a deeper relationship with him (v. 2)"

Whitney T. Kuniholm wrote this in his reflection on Psalm 14 in the book I am journaling through titled The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story.

The LORD looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. (Psalm 14:2-3)
I have struggled with Psalm 14 for awhile. Surely when God looks down from heaven he sees at least one person who does something good. Everyone hasn't turned completely away? When I look around I see many good people, heck I view myself as a good person. So what is going on here?

This time when I read this passage I found myself more easily seeing it in the context of God's whole story, his entire plan, the Bible. After reading through the bible in a compressed way using the Essential 100 program (E100) I seem to be reading more passages in the context of the whole story. This has really helped my comprehension of certain passages.

Anyway, we need to look at this from God's perspective as much as we can, there are no good people. God's standard for a 'good' person is very high: a person without one sin. I have to remind myself that God can see every detail about every person, every thought, every motive, and every action. We humans can NOT see every action of another person. We certainly can't see every thought and the motives of other people. We can guess and we seem to do plenty of guessing. Because of these human limitations we can't fairly judge people like God can, not that we don't try.

Given these limitations including the inability to live up to God's standard of a 'good' person, we have lowered the standard. We have lowered the bar so we can meet the standard. We have made 'good' achievable. Actually, in our society the bar seems to get lower every year. We have established our own standards. With our lowered human standards we look around and divide the world into good and bad people, sometimes, I would add, not even that accurately. Simply put by God's standard there are only bad people. But God, our Creator, is not satisfied with that, and wants to see all people as good people. So God devised a plan to redeem the bad through his son.

God standard is too high and unattainable in ourselves, but God has not left us without a solution. A solution to the sin problem. He has provided a way through Christ to be good in the eyes of God - to be right with God - to be called righteous! (Romans 4:1-5, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

| More on the Essential Jesus journey. |

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