Mere Human Beings

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church, he laments the fact that, in his estimation, the men and women of that body are living as “mere humans.”  Perhaps they found comfort in recognizing that their founder at least equated their actions as human rather than animalistic.

Did your mom and/or elementary teacher reprimand you and your friends with the charge to “Quit acting like animals” or “monkeys” or “wild beasts” or “hyenas”?  At least the believers in Corinth remained in the bipod classification.

As a fellow hands-off-the-ground walker, I join you in the human race.  Sometimes I am “human” in my behavior and other times I falter and thus fall into the “mere human” category.  Therefore, I strive to live as a “good human.” 

The Bible encourages us to do so. 

Whoever seeks good finds favor,

    but evil comes to one who searches for it. 

Proverbs 11:27 (NIV) 

A good name is more desirable than great riches;

    to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.  Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 

Matthew 12:35

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, . . .” 
Luke 6:27 (NIV)

And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 

2 Thessalonians 3:13

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 
1 Peter 2:12 (NIV)

Yet (and a powerful “yet” at that) when Jesus spoke with a man about goodness, He, as Mark tells us, said “no one is good – except God alone."

So which is it?  Can I be good or not?  As frustrating as the answer may be, it is “yes and no.” 
“No” – in that I cannot achieve goodness on my own.
“Yes” – in that through the One that is (“God alone”), I can.  You can, too!

Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”  Matthew 7:17-18 (NIV) 

How then do we achieve goodness?  How do we bear good fruit?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 (NIV)

1) Cling to Jesus. 

2) Pursue Goodness.

But you, [person] of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
1 Timothy 6:11 (NIV)

Settle not for living as a “mere human.”  Strive not to be “super human.”  Make it your quest to be a good human.

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