Sunday, December 18, 2011

Good Girl Gone Bad

For much of my life I was the "good girl". You know the mold - praiseworthy grades, obedient to parents, no drugs or alcohol, wouldn't go against the law if my life depended upon it.

When kids in school would call me "Miss Goody Two Shoes", I took it as a compliment instead of the insult it was intended to be. Perhaps, you could even say that I made it my ambition to be one of the best good girls that ever lived.

There was a big problem with my philosophy, though. I wasn't ever sure what 'perfection' was. I could only compare myself to others and elevate my goodness based upon others badness. For example, I gave myself brownie points for being able to say I have never been drunk in my entire life, I have never smoked a single cigarette, done drugs, been to jail or had a speeding ticket (other than the one I received a few years back when Dale called and said one of the kids was missing. I figured, tickets don't really count if it is for a good reason.)

I was good because I wasn't doing those 'bad' things others were. It was all relative to others' behavior.

Then, I met someone who changed everything. He was the perfect man. HE alone was the one I needed to be comparing myself with. Suddenly, this good girl wasn't so good anymore. You see, He was sinless. Perfect. I now understood what good was and I was not.

He said if I had ever done one single thing wrong, and yes, white lies count (so do mean looks and hateful thoughts against enemies), then I wasn't good enough - good enough to get into Heaven. Wasn't that my ultimate goal? I didn't want to be good just for the sake of being good. I was in it for the reward.

I looked in His face and asked, "How, then?" How, then, can I get into Heaven? How can I ever be good enough?

He gently answered, "You can never be good enough, but I can. Realize that you cannot earn your way to Heaven; it is my free gift. " At that moment, I fell on my face and accepted the gift I had been trying to earn. For the first time in my life, I felt peace.

I was a mere 18 years old when I met Jesus, my perfect man. He turned my world upside down, or should I say right side up. The baby in the manger suddenly made sense. He had to come and die for me or I would be left to have to pay for each and every one of my sins. The price for just 1 sin was too great. When I saw my life through His lens, I had thousands upon thousands of sins. My debt was too much.

Christmas became more than presents and good food. The baby born that day became my life, my hope and my savior. He paid my debt and for that I am eternally grateful. I had no means by which to get into Heaven, neither do you. Jesus does, though. Will you accept the gift He is offering you this Christmas?

Maybe, just maybe, you are also a good girl who is willing to see her need to be rescued from her bad side - a redeemed, loved, bought with Jesus' life kind of girl.

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