She stood in pain. Arthritis in cold wet weather does that. That pain can make you stand still and sure enough, she was not moving, just standing. It was obvious that the wait for the next bus would be uncomfortable to her mind and her body. She watched with longing eyes the previous bus pull away. She had missed it by seconds. I was fortunate, or you might say, unfortunate enough to have witnessed the unfolding scenario from the comfort of my car.
A cold wet Sunday morning in Philadelphia found me heading to church and as usual, I was in a hurry. I am a deacon. The pastor depends on me. The people expect me to be in place. My fellow deacons await my arrival. I have a reserved seat up front, next to the pulpit. I can’t stop for this woman. She can wait for the next bus. She should not get too wet, after all, it is only drizzling not a heavy rain. And of course, I am good enough already. I don’t have to prove to anybody that I am good by stopping and giving this woman a ride to church. I am good enough.
The Holy Spirit speaks. Good enough never is. I slowed to stop. I turned the corner and hopped out of my car.
“Would you like a ride to church dear sister?” I said this as I was opening the passenger door, correctly assuming could she not say no.
Why of course Deacon Johnson, came her smiling reply. And less than two minutes later, with her cane and multiple small bags, she was seated comfortably, warm and dry in the back seat, secured with a seat belt. We arrived with time to spare. That is, Christ had not returned yet. No earth shattering events had occurred, and most importantly, my special seat was untouched.
My good enough never is. It is always based upon what I feel I can hold back because it is my right to preserve something for myself. Why should I give all to Christ? Why should I be inconvenienced? Why should I take concern over the wickedness in our world? Hungry children have always been hungry and naked unhealthy people are too numerous to count. I need to give just enough to say I gave, not necessarily enough to make a difference. That is good enough. To be seen given suffices. God counts that as filthy rags. It is self-serving and self-satisfying. I feel good by convincing myself I did good enough. Good enough never is. It accepts mediocrity, not excellence. Then of course there is mediocre mediocrity and mediocre, mediocre mediocrity and…, well it goes downhill from there. Good enough accepts what is allowed, not what is best. Good enough is not what God wants from me. He wants my best. He gave His best and only that is good enough. We can never give God what is good enough, unless we give Him our best. Anything less is filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 New Living Translation We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.