Click below to listen to this post about God’s goodness in you, through and through, on the Candidly Kendra podcast:
Have you ever met someone who’s too good to be true?
Have you ever met someone with an inner beauty that is unmatched? Someone who responds with kindness out of reflex? Someone with a sweetness that makes you want to be a better person?
My friend Ella is like that. In fact, Ella is so unusually others-focused that she would be horrified to find out that I am writing such a complimentary post about her, which is why I changed her name.
I know what you’re thinking: Kendra, Ella isn’t perfect. Nobody is that good through and through.
I know! I thought that, too. That’s why I thought that it would be really interesting to see how Ella would act when I visited her after a difficult surgery. She was all doped up on whatever the doctors gave her for the surgery and for pain.
When Steve and I walked into her hospital room carrying a bouquet of flowers, Ella brightly slurred, “Steve and Kendra! Aww, you are so sweet to come! How ARE you guys?” She was fresh out of a difficult surgery, the social masks were stripped by medications, and still Ella cared more about the others in the room than she did about herself.
Truly good, through and through.
Who are you when the social masks are stripped? Who are you under the surface?
I am Kendra. I am outgoing. I’m great at meeting people. I make small talk easily. I read a lot and have interesting things to share at Bible study.
But I’m also Kendra… I am insecure. I’m uncertain about my future. I’m overly concerned about what others think, and I’m horrified at the possibility that they don’t think about me at all. God’s love and acceptance isn’t enough to satisfy me; I grasp at it desperately, greedily, from every other potential source as well.
Time will tell whether I’ll actually publish this post with that last paragraph in it, because, like many of you, my mask is my security blanket. I hold it close to cover up the messiness under the surface.
Because I’m afraid that maybe what’s under the surface is the real me.
I’m afraid that what’s under the surface is the real me.
The Real Me, Through and Through
What if what’s under the surface really is who we really are?
Insecure? Selfish? Clingy…annoying…greedy? Ugly?
But maybe God has something else to say about that.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
This is a beautiful verse that says something incredibly deep and important in Bible-speak. Let me share with you another version:
“For God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God’s goodness into us!” (New Living Translation)
This says that when we believed in Christ and trusted in his rescue of us, our sins – all that insecurity, selfishness, and ugliness – were poured into Christ, and all his goodness fills us up! (Cut us open and we’ll bleed righteousness, I always say.)
Admittedly, I know that when I look inside myself I still see the sin. But that’s not the truth. We can’t see the full and eternal perfection that God has given us in Jesus because we are still blinded by our earthly experience. But God can see. He knows the truth. He says we are righteous.
Clean. Good. A+. Through and through.
What’s under the surface, friends, is really me. That’s God’s truth.
Bring It Home
Second Corinthians 5:21 says that God emptied out our sins onto Christ and poured his goodness into us. What are you filled with today? God’s goodness. What are you filled with on your worst day? God’s righteousness. In other words, your behavior doesn’t change God’s truth… but God’s truth has the power to change your behavior.
When we have a hard time believing what God says about us, we fall into burdensome patterns of trying to prove our worthiness, and faking it when we fail. How have you seen yourself striving or faking lately?
How would you react differently if you really believed God when he says that you are his goodness, through and through?
*If Ella read this post before I published it, she’d be hoping I’d clarify that she isn’t perfect. I called her “truly good, through and through.” She is a sinner, who needs a Savior like the rest of us. But, like the rest of us, that statement is indeed true of her after all, based on 2 Cor. 5:21.