Saturday morning is a work morning, but a recent one was special. I had my buddy (three-year-old son) accompany me. We went to Bunnings Warehouse to pick up some used storage pallets.
I entered the Trade area, parked the car and trailer ensemble and took my buddy in to be directed. A helpful young man led me and my buddy out to the area they keep the pallets, showing me the ones I could have and the ones I couldn’t have.
Great. All clear. Time to get to work and load the trailer. I loaded six good ones on the trailer and tied the load down. On driving out of the Yard the older guy on the gate stopped me and inspected my load.
“Ah, we’ve got a problem here, mate. Let me check, but I think you can’t take the Swan Cement ones — that’s four of the six.”
I was inwardly seething as I was operating on instruction from the younger guy. Anticipating that I’d have to unload and reload I had to tell myself to regain my composure. The younger man was already walking up toward me when my pride arose, and, without saying much at all, let him know I was pretty unimpressed at the run around. I reversed the trailer back to the storage pallet area, and the younger guy was guiding me, which had a negative effect on my reversing, so I said I’d be okay. At this point, as I was still reversing, my buddy in the back said, “Stop being angry, Dad.” I thought I’d managed to keep a lid on my emotions, but in truth my buddy, the younger guy and older guy could all tell I was cheesed off.
I untied the pallets and dropped them back, then loaded the permissible ones up and tied them on. As I tied the pallets on the trailer, God reminded me that I was a Christian; that my fruit comes down to my behaviour. No recrimination for my reaction, just a reminder to reconcile the situation.
I repented. I decided to be grateful. I also decided to apologise to both the younger and older guys, and thank them for their help.
“Sorry I didn’t listen clearly enough, or seek clarification,” I said to the younger man, even if it wasn’t my fault. He said, “Can I get you a free hat and shirt for your inconvenience?” The older guy appreciated the apology and my thanking him for just enforcing the rules, and he offered me free timber boards.
I really felt I’d failed God, yet again, until the Lord spoke something so important into and through my spirit.
“You are not meant to be good apart from me, Steve.
You’re no good on your own.”
You’re no good on your own.”
Sometimes, in not being a good Christian, I’m reminded that trying too hard to be a good Christian means I negate the fact that Christ is God’s goodness in me; that without Him I have no goodness in me, as the sum goodness in me is propelled by motives that are other than godly. But when I truly think like Christ, His goodness is imputed through me.
His grace offers us all a freeing reality. Because we cannot be good in and of ourselves, without Him, there’s no pressure from God to try. We’re not fooling Him when we do our good deeds before people who then think we’re good; where God gets no glory.
A better response is our situational surrender in allowing God’s power to work through us in difficult situations. That’s an extraordinary goodness that others sincerely notice; transcending any appearance of human goodness.
Being Christian is accepting we cannot be good without Christ being alive in us through our actions. Being Christian is not about how much we know; it’s about how much we accept grace alone has saved our sinning souls.