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Is it possible to always be good?

No matter how hard I tried, I never seemed to be able to behave as I intended.
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I would lie in bed, tossing and turning, thoughts churning around my head. No matter how hard I tried, how much I wanted to, I never seemed to be able to behave as I intended.  Every night I looked back on the day with regret.

Why had I said the very thing that I knew would be hurtful to the others, and had decided not to say? Why did I get irritated with someone over something small? Why did I always think about myself and never seem to notice how my actions affected other people? Why couldn’t I be one of those nice, kind, caring people that I saw around me, that I really wanted to be?

Wanting to do the good

I always wanted to be “good.” As a child it seemed easy – I did what I was told and always tried to behave as I thought I was expected to. But as I grew older this became harder. I had to start making decisions for myself and to try to understand for myself what the “right” behaviour was. I began to see how self-centered I was; how often I made decisions to suit myself, and how little I thought about other people.

I had read in the Bible what love should be like: “Love suffers long and is kind… does not seek its own, is not provoked… Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13 v 4,5 & 8). I would make resolutions about being more caring or about not getting irritated, but somehow when it came to it, I failed.  I realised that I was actually not capable of being truly good, because my human nature dictated something else. As it says in John 8:34 and Romans 7:18-23, I was a “slave of sin”.

A total transformation

In desperation I started reading in the Bible, looking for help. My Christian life had to become real, where it mattered, or it would just be meaningless. I read that I was to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Roman 12:2) So that was what was needed: a total transformation: a real change – to become a new person! As I searched the scriptures, I became convinced that this was possible – I could be changed!

Now, when I find myself in a temptation, for example to get upset or irritated, I pray to God to help me here and now. Making the right choice is impossible without God’s help.  Part of me (my flesh) wants to get irritated because I have a “right to,” in “this circumstance”.  But I know getting irritated, even if I have a “right” to, just makes me unhappy, and I want to be free. With God’s help, I am becoming a different person than I would have been if I’d just followed my own inclinations; I have totally new reactions. I am “being transformed”!

I am in a process of becoming a new person. For lasting help, there is no doubt in my mind that I have needed and will always need Jesus’ power and the guidance that the Bible gives to be completely transformed, so that I am truly good, not just act “politely good” on the surface.

Essentials

What are the revolutionary, liberating core teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles? How can they be applied to practical, everyday life?

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I Am Crucified With Christ

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