Tom says he can do without God in his life and I imagine there are many who feel the same way, who, whilst believing there may be a Deity of some description, can live without any real acknowledgement of said Deity. Being 'good' is what matters is often the angle many people take. I was a having a conversation the other day with a lady who said a very similar thing to this.
I've been chewing this whole issue over the last few weeks, particularly after chatting some things through with Tom.
I'm wondering whether this concept of being good as the most important thing and not whether you believe in God or not is actually a result of the Church and the State being so closely aligned. The State look for the country to be run a certain way with people obeying certain laws and rules to keep the country a 'free' place to live. The Church was for many hundreds of years in bed with the State over the way the country was run and for a long time was the most powerful voice and establishment within our culture. Things have changed somewhat even if some of the UK church have a part to play within the State.
I'm wondering if for many people then, if not a conscious thing, they still associate 'church' with those streams of the church that have an involvement with the State. And therefore belief in God is more to do with a set of rules and laws rather than anything else. A result being that people don't see a need for God as long as they are following the rules and being a 'good' person.
(I think there are many reasons why church and state is a bad idea, but maybe that is another blog another time.)
Now I realise that some people have wrestled with belief in God and come to a place of disbelief, but I'm sure there are many who have never really ever thought about what they believe in terms of faith.
It got me thinking. Why am I a Christian?
I recognise first and foremost that God Himself broke into my life, revealed Himself to me and transformed me. I recognise it is His grace alone that has rescued me and that He alone has made me a new person. So in many ways it was nothing to do with me. But in other ways it requires a lot from me. When I was confronted with who Jesus is I wanted to be his follower and have sought to follow him well ever since. Yet in following him much is demanded.
So why do I continue?
Without doubt some of it is because of the hope that I believe exists in Jesus. A hope to be with God and know Him and His love more and more. A hope that He will wipe away every tear and bring total healing and peace to all that he has created. It is a hope to see Him face to face and be fully known, in other words, to no longer be at war within myself or with others; to fully know who He made me to be. Yet it is more than that.
I continue because I believe Jesus is significant for all our today's. I believe being a follower of Jesus is much more than being a 'good' person. After-all, how do you define 'goodness'? With the lines blurred ever more each day about what is 'good' or 'bad' it is increasingly difficult to make a sound definition.
No, I believe being a follower of Jesus is about being like Him and that in living like Him you will discover your true identity and become the person you were called to be, living and loving like Him. That in knowing Jesus you will see in Him what life is really all about and that today will be significant. Today will be significant because you will learn more and more why it is important to love others. Today will be significant because you will learn why it is of complete importance to love God with all that you are.
I don't want to be a 'good' person, I want to be become a Jesus person. I celebrate wherever I see people acting in ways that reflect who Jesus is.
That is why I cannot do without God, because without Him I don't believe I could ever truly be myself.