Wednesday, August 19

Not as good as I think…

Scripture: Jeremiah 48-49, Psalm 67, 1 John 1

1 John 1:8–10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.


John writes late in the first century to combat some heresy that was threatening the early church.  In these verses, he takes on the idea of human perfection—we don’t sin.  

We would say it this way: we are good people.  We all like to see ourselves as good people, basically good, fundamentally good.  Our sins (if we have any) are aberrations, mistakes, unusual.  “That’s not like me,” we say.  

Studies have repeatedly shown that we have an elevated view of our own goodness.  When asked if they are more moral than average, almost everyone says yes!  We all tend to think we are good, but question others’ goodness.  

Jesus said, “No one is good except God.”  Mark 10:18

Paul, when explaining the gospel, begins by saying, “There is no one righteous, not even one.”  Romans 3:10

Is there nothing good about us?  Of course there is.  We are created in the image of God, and even though we are rebellious and sinful, the goodness of God still shines out at times.

But we all tend to overestimate those times, and underestimate our own sin and rebellion.  

John hits this head on.  If we claim to be without sin (good) we are self-deceived, calling God a liar, and His word (the truth) is not in us.  

So what is the solution?  Verse 9.  If we confess our sin (agree with God that we’re not good), God is faithful and righteous and will forgive and purify us.  The solution is not denying my sin, thinking I’m good, better than others, righteous—but in humbly acknowledging my sin to God.


I will invite the Holy Spirit to show me my sin, my selfishness so that I can confess and repent and be cleansed.  I will be more aware that I’m not as good, as right as I think I am—be more humble and teachable.

Prayer: Lord, show me when I’m getting on my high horse, and help me to humble myself before you and be a learner.  I’m not as good as I think…