“The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:6,7)
We watch athletes perform at their peak and then watch them slowly and sadly decline. We see performers dazzle and excel in their prime and then appear as a shell of their former self. All flesh is as grass. The glory and goodliness of men is like the flower of the field. At its full bloom one day; fading the next.
In the moral sphere men also want to glory. They want to point to some goodness they showed as evidence that they are actually really good people. But given certain tests over the long term, if men are honest, they will acknowledge they have as much if not more potential to do what’s wrong as they have the strength to do what’s right.
God is not interested in putting our goodness on one side of the scale and our evil on the other, and seeing which one weighs the most. He is not interested in our goodness at all. What He does want to do is give us a goodness and righteousness that is greater than ours and that will, day in and day out, stand up under the severest tests.
Don’t rest on your laurels for any goodness you have shown in the past. You have a long journey and a hot sun ahead of you. God is gracious enough to offer you help. Be humble enough to take it. Don’t end up an aging, fading “performer” who isn’t fooling anyone but yourself.
Face it – you don’t have the “goods”. But don’t worry, the Word made Flesh has a glory that will last forever. Glory in His “goodliness” which is offered in place of your own.