Richard Rohr points out/says that we, as part of creation, were made good: in fact, “very good” as the crown of creation. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good...Genesis 1:31
I note that "very good" was the assessment that God made when he added mankind to creation.
If you made a list of the "good" things in life,
would you be on the list?
If we are highly Christianized, we would argue that "there is none good," quoting Paul in Romans. I'm going to argue for a different view of ourselves based on Old Testament revelation.
We are taught about original sin and how we all sin. Well, sin is prolific in personal and community life, but I am not sure about the original sin bit. The original sin doctrine did not get formulated until the 300s by St. Augustine. He argued that God made us sinners. I'm having trouble balancing that with a lot of scripture about our original goodness, even as unique individuals. (Psalm 139) God did not intend bad for us. You cannot read that anywhere in scripture. He, rather, intended good, of which there is tons of scripture, including "he works all things out for the good in those he loves..." (Romans 8:28)
We can embed our identity in this goodness, especially as we explore identity and flourishing, spoken of as "righteousness" in the New Testament, which means "being as one ought to be, as God intended." He intended us to be good.
This makes us all the more responsible for our sin. It is not innate in us, though prolific around us. We have the core identity of what God has given and the chance for spiritual power to overcome all these principalities' sin offerings.
I wanted to find that inherent goodness that God intended for me. I want to live it out. I want to ride it into the presence of God so we both can find joy in the creation evidence in me. Paul even tells us how to join God in that pursuance:
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, rejoice. Aim for restoration, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you.
- Finally – what remains (final pursuit)
- Rejoice – be well, thrive.
- Restoration - returned to original intent - be made complete - make one as they ought to be.
- Be made complete –mend, repair; outfit, equip; strengthen; find the good ground/foundation of one’s being. “frame of oneself”; be as one ought to be (as created/intended by God)
- Be comforted – parakaleo – call for/draw alongside of
those who console, encourage, strengthen
- Be like-minded – phronea – understanding, be wise
about yourself, modestly humble yet with honest assessment
- Cultivate peace – irenea - protection during vulnerability and tenderness (as in protection for young plants in the spring)
- God will be with (with/after/behind) you -denotes accompaniment