A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”
The young man who spoke with Jesus that day isn’t the only person to wonder what a good life looks like. We do the same thing when we look at ourselves.
This is challenging for us because some days we don’t feel good about our lives. It’s easy to look at our lives and remember the times we weren’t good to spouses, parents, children, or friends. On some of those days, it may even be easy to wonder if God could ever love someone like me.
The problem with that line of thinking is that it finds us guilty of doing the same thing this wealthy young man did—focusing our primary attention on ourselves. Jesus gives us a better way to live: Instead of spending so much time looking at our lives, look at his. Instead of focusing so much on what you have or haven’t done, focus on what Jesus already did.
This young man walked away from Jesus sad when he could have stayed right where he was and found the true wealth his life was missing. The type that will never disappoint you for any reason; the wealth we already have in Jesus, who shed his blood over all the bad in our lives so that we could be forgiven and washed clean of every sin. And therefore, have absolutely nothing in our heart, soul, or mind that isn’t “good” according to God’s definition.
The way we live our lives might not make us good fits in God’s kingdom. But the life and death of Jesus does. You’re good. That’s what the cross of Jesus means. He has made you good—by God’s own declaration.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the forgiveness that makes me a “good” fit in God’s kingdom. Amen.