The Goodie Club
Do you have a case of the Guilty-Go-Gos? That’s the feeling of being bad and then tending to Go-Go to hide instead of deciding to enter the presence of God through reading the Bible or prayer?
Have you ever let a guilty conscience keep you from accepting the good gifts that God has given to you, or wants to give to you?
I have. And I admit that I can remember this from all the way back when I was a little girl.
Even as a small child, I enjoyed the feeling of cleanness and purity that comes from doing things the right way. I felt uncomfortable and miserable having a soiled conscience.
At the age of about 7, I began a “Goodie Club.” I enlisted my small 5-year-old brother, and a couple of our neighborhood friends from up the street. Together, (and barely being able to spell) we made a list of all the ‘good’ things that we should do such as obeying our parents and making our beds.
The club did not last but for a few weeks, but while it did, we met in a small huddle on my hardwood floor in the corner of my pink bedroom and went over the list of good things that we should do and each gained points for the ones that we had done. It felt good.
Several years later, as a teenager, I attended a church service on a Friday night where people were lined up at the end of the meeting to receive prayer and encouragement from the speaker, Father Phil, and his wife who assisted him in praying for people.
It was a long line at the end of the meeting for prayer. As I stood in it with my friends waiting silently, I crossed my arms over my chest and told the Lord that I could not think of one thing that the minister or his wife could say to me that I thought would encourage me. I did not feel like I could approach God because I felt guilty. I had tried hard to be good and I always failed.
Isn’t it funny, though –because we are always guilty. There is never a time here on earth in which we have obtained perfection or have a clean slate on our own.
Yet sometimes, don’t we just feel more ‘holy’ than other times? Or maybe it is what our focus is?
When it was my turn to be prayed for, the speaker’s wife stayed with me for a while longer to give me words of encouragement. Though I had not shared with her any of my thoughts, she began to speak to me about how God relates to us through His Son and how He sees us in robes of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).
Father Phil’s wife explained to me that God sees us through the righteousness that His Son earned for us by dying on the cross in our place. She said it was not the matter of what I had done or not done, but a matter of what Jesus had done for me. It was amazing that she shared this with me even though I had not talked to her about what was bothering me.
Do you see? My focus had all been on me and my shortcomings, instead of on Jesus. Only Jesus can earn us right standing before God. We have to get to God through Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
Conviction is when we are aware of how we fall short of the target that God has set. God invites us to confess what we have done wrong, and to turn away from it.
But we are never perfect by ourselves. Jesus is. Let us approach God because of Jesus paying the price for us to do so and making a way for us to have a relationship with Him.
Next time, instead of wallowing in a messy guilt pit, recognize your wrongdoing before God and change your way. Run To God. Stop running away from Him.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need.”
Which direction are you headed today? To God? Or from Him?