We are taught to be good from childhood.
So we strive to always be obedient. Always do the ‘right’ thing.
Always be nice. Always be kind. Be patient. Be loyal. Be honest…
And we try. We try to hold it all together. We smile and grit our teeth when we get upset. We keep it in. We hide anything and everything that may resemble messiness or ugliness.
We cover up. We disguise. We hide everything real behind a mask of morality. But behind the mask, we’re a mess.
We’re broken. We’re hurting. We’re so tired. It’s too hard to be good.
Today I’m here with a new message:
Wait! Wait! Don’t close the article, I’m not tricking you…I know it sounds scandalous, but let me explain.
In Galatians 5, Paul writes to the Galatians about circumcision. You see, before Christ died, under the Old Covenant, circumcision was a way that the men of God marked themselves physically to testify as a symbol of their obedience to the Law. It was like an initiation into the covenant.
Paul calls it out, proclaiming freedom to them:
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” ~Galatians 5:1 NASB
He goes on to tell them how, under Christ, circumcision is unnecessary. They were trying too hard to follow and live under the law, when they were called to freedom under Christ.
Did that mean that they could just run rampant and do whatever they pleased? Of course not. In Galatians 5:13, Paul specifically told them to be sure that they were not using their freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.
So what then? What is the point of having this freedom? And why would God institute a law that we aren’t supposed to try to follow?
Well, nobody said we wouldn’t follow it. Only that we should stop trying.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” ~Galatians 5:16 NASB
Paul goes on, explaining his main point. Walk by the Spirit. In the Old Covenant, they didn’t have the Spirit. They needed physical symbols, rituals, and the like to help them to carry out the law to the best of their ability.
Under Christ, we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit, God Himself living inside of us!
Because, let’s all be honest, we all know that we could never follow the law perfectly. We all know that even on our best days, we have moments in which we stumble.
As sinners, it is physically impossible for us to be ‘good.’ Even in all your trying, you could never actually be the ‘good girl’. The law is too high of a standard.
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” ~Galatians 5:18 NASB
So how do we become ‘led by the Spirit’?
Stop trying in your own strength. You’ll never make it.
Don’t try to be the good girl. You don’t have it in you.
Pray to be like Jesus. Read His word. Study His life. Talk to Him!
Draw nearer to Him. Be obsessed with Him. Follow Him.
Take off the mask.
Let go of your made-up cover-up of shame. Only those that are in Jesus have the confidence to take off the mask of ‘goodness’, and now be able to smile at the world in confidence because now He is our goodness.
He will fill you with His Holy Spirit. You won’t have to try to be the good girl, you will be overflowing with the fruits of His Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” ~Galatians 5:22, 23 NASB
By becoming more and more like Jesus, and being filled with His Spirit, we will find ourselves not being able to help but follow His law! His commands will no longer be burdens, they will be a delight. His standards will no longer be impossible, we will desire nothing less.
Stop trying to be the good girl.