Saturday, February 27, 2016

The "Good" Paradox

Good things are hard.

Right things are hard.

There is a challenge in the human experience. Particularly Gospel experiences...the ones we encounter this side of heaven anyway.

We want things that are right and good. We want situations to be right and good. Christians believe in a standard of right and wrong, good and bad, that exists outside of our individual selves. Which is good. But sometimes the application or encountering of that standard is...hard. 

Sometimes application of good and right will look different in different situations. Perhaps a parent has to say no to a younger sibling who simply isn't ready to do the same thing as the older sibling. Maybe an employer has to let one employee go to save the rest of the company. What if the decision that you have to make in life is one that necessarily hurts those around you?

How can good and right still be good and right when there is hurt, anger, sadness, brokenness? What about issues of racism, sexism, where people are told that they have no worth? That is grossly wrong. But how do you fix it when it would require telling someone that they are not loving hard enough, being grace filled enough, and that they need to try doing more hard work?

And then I pause. And look at myself. And ask if I am loving hard enough. Or if I am grace-filled or trying to keep doing hard work. And then I am left with a new paradox: I cannot do all of the things on my own. But all of the things are required of me. 

Where, then, am I to find the strength, power, endurance, to do all the good?

Right around that point, when hopelessness is starting to set in, I remember that I am not my own. I belong to the true Good. I am filled with the Spirit of One whose power and grace and goodness I cannot fathom.

The paradox doesn't leave. The tension, the pull, is still there. But now I know that while it is a paradox for me, it isn't for Him.

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