It wouldn’t hurt for the majority of us to get a more optimistic view of humanity. There are surely plenty of bad apples out there; but the myriad good people marginalize them. These are the humanitarians, the relief workers, the stay at home mothers, the foster parents, the coaches, etc. Good people aren’t hard to find.
Many people are kind, tenderhearted, joyful, and peaceful; but is that good enough? Actually, you could argue that many good people are godlier than Christians, even without God. It is feasible to be good and not have God. People are good and don’t know Jesus. It is possible to display the attributes of a disciple and not be a disciple.
A man found in Acts 10 who was named Cornelius best exemplifies this. Check out some of his attributes:
1. Devout man.
2. Feared God with his entire house.
3. Gave much alms to people.
4. Prayed to God always.
5. Just man.
6. He had a good report among all the nation of the Jews.
7. He fasted and had visions.
Now that is a truly good man. That’s why it may shock some that God wasn’t satisfied with Cornelius’ standing. After all these great attributes, God still needed to add some things.
Acts 10:5-6 – And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
What more could this man possibly do? He is good; isn’t that enough? He had already surpassed most disciples in action and attitude, what’s next?
Simon came to this good man’s house, and preached salvation. He told Cornelius what he should do. Notice what happened:
Acts 10:44, 46-48 – While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
Cornelius and his family, in one moment, went from being good to being saved. They received the Holy Ghost and were baptized in Jesus name. God hereby taught us that being good isn’t enough if you aren’t saved.
We should all be and do good. Let that goodness be built on a foundation of salvation. The shine of salvation will begin to illuminate His good works through you.
Your positive attributes mingled with His anointing will impact His mission in your world.