Good to Great
Can you ever have too much of a good thing? Or, have you ever become dissatisfied with a good thing and instead started to yearn for something great? I think we can all relate to that. And, it should even be true for our relationship with God. As we continue to follow him and experience his presence more and more each day, we should not be settling for a good relationship with him, we should want something great. Why? Because there is nothing and no one greater than God!
In the closing section of his letter, John gives three affirmations for believers to confidently know that their faith is authentic. This has been his primary aim throughout the whole letter. What then is the result of having an authentic faith? v.21… Keeping yourself from idols. While this ending may seem odd, what John is saying is that believers are never to exchange to glory and goodness of God for anything lesser. That is the mistake of the false teachers in the community. This is also a powerful reminder for us today. We are to be called back to the reality that the point of the Christian life is to glorify God.
The Scottish minister and hymn writer, Horatius Bonar, expresses this truth as such, “To take comfort from our good doings, or good feelings, or good plans, or good prayers, or good experiences, is to delude ourselves, and to say peace when there is no peace. No man can quench his thirst with sand, or with water from the Dead Sea; so no man can find rest from his own character however good, or from his own acts however religious.”
So, what does a great relationship with God look like? John has told us, we are to abide with God. (1 Jn. 2:24) And this abiding relationship is one where we willingly invite God to set up shop in our hearts and lives and reside there permanently. If we desire to be a people who bring glory to God, we must not exchange the greatest thing (an abiding relationship with God) for the good things of a religious or moral life. There is life and life abundantly in Christ; let us pursue it wholeheartedly. (Jn. 10:10)