It’s Good News [mandy]

This is going to be a short note, but I think it can be short. The crux of the whole matter spans a lifetime of thinking, living, saying–but it can be summed up quickly.

Why say it? Because I forgot this truth for a while, and it’s worth remembering.

The Gospel is good news. That’s it’s definition: good news. Sometimes–oftentimes–I am caught up with the fear of being a witness, talking about my faith, Christianity, Jesus Christ and God. I’m afraid people will be offended. That they will be angry. In fact, that somehow I’ll hurry them away from salvation rather than draw them to it. (Of course, I know it’s not really me who’s drawing them closer to Christ–it’s Christ Himself.)

As I muse about talking to people I don’t know–and people I DO know–about living a life for God, about salvation, and the life of Christ, I remember that what I’m sharing is something wonderful. Something inexplicably delightful and hopeful and good.

Naturally, a life mimicking Christ is a life against the grain. But it’s worth it. Because it’s still good news.

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5 thoughts on “It’s Good News [mandy]

  1. Mandy, when you say that you “forgot this truth for a while”, I am curious what the story was around this and what caused you to remember the “Good News” and once again embrace it. How have you experienced the “Good News” lately?

    Personally, I have often really struggled with the Gospel being “Good News” in my life. While I could intellectually agree with this statement, it did not feel good to me. Ever. Actually, it often felt much more like a ball and chain and that was certainly something that I did not want to share with people. As I engaged this, God eventually revealed to me some places of woundedness in my life that kept me from experiencing the “Good News” and this healing allowed me to receive God’s love and forgiveness as something truly good and not the weight that they had always been.

    Part of the weight I experienced was based in the false belief that if I believed the “Good News” and was saved then my life should generally be pain free. Or, if there is pain, it should be minor and temporary. The Gospel – the “Good News” is, as you state, inexplicably delightful, but it is also painful. It comes with a lot of other statements like “take up your cross” and “unless a kernel of wheat dies it will never live”. I have seen death and it isn’t pretty. When we share the “Good News” this is what we are invited into – death. If I am really honest, I am not so sure that that is actually what I always want. My own reluctance to embrace death makes me reluctant to invite others to do the same and we can’t very well invite others into something that we ourselves aren’t willing to enter into (I’m pretty sure the word for that would be hypocrisy). Death is, in your words, “against the grain”. We fight it with every ounce of our beings. It’s certainly not what most people want to talk about at the dinner table and it is certainly not “Good News” to the typical human.

    With all this in mind, perhaps it is good to rethink what we are actually sharing with people when we share the “Good News”. If I am honest this is what I am really asking people: “Why don’t you join me in this journey of dying? It will be harder than you ever imagined and there are going to be a lot of days when you are going to wonder what the heck you are doing and why you ever said yes to this journey in the first place. It’s not always going to feel good and you are probably going to wonder at some point what the heck God is doing. There aren’t any guarantees except that God is with us and said that He will always love us and never leave us. Oh, and by the way, there are a lot of really beautiful things to experience throughout this journey but in order to get there it’s going to take a long time and there will be moments when you think you can’t go on. In those moments, God will pick you up and carry you and you will finally know that you are home – with Him. It will be the hardest best journey you will ever take and the only way to know this personally is take your first step and trust someone that you really don’t know but who is telling you to believe that He is good and perfect and loving and will not fail you or leave you on your own. I know this because this is the journey that I have been on and I would love for you to join me.”

    Did I know what I was signing up for the first time I heard the “Good News”? No way. Is it worth it? Yes. Would I make this choice again? Every single time. Life is hard. God is good. That is the best news I have heard all day.

    • ConsideringTheLily, thanks so much for your thoughtful and insightful remarks! (I’m sorry this post is so late in coming.) To answer your question above–I was reminded that the gospel is Good News when I came face-to-face with the reality of witnessing to someone. I planned what I wanted to say to this person, my strategy and tactics and all that, but I realized I was nervous. Why did I feel nervous, anxious, afraid? I wondered about that. And I think the Holy Spirit reminded me that the salvation God offers is a fantastic thing. It’s beyond belief. So, when I went to talk with this person about Christ, about sin and salvation, and life–I didn’t feel at all afraid. I did not consider that what I was sharing with him was something scary or going to send his life spiraling into a slough of despondency. God is love. And perfect love casts out fear. Armed with God’s love, with His reassurance that He’d give me the words to say to this person, that no matter the outcome, I did the right thing–I felt no fear, no anxiety, nothing but absolute peace and joy. Sharing the Gospel is not judgmental in my mind. It is joyful, peaceful, and loving.
      But, you’re right: it’s not an easy life. At times, it seems far more like a burden than a blessing. Jesus said He came to bring a sword, that families would be divided because of the gospel. I have seen and continue to see that in my own family. But as Christ trudged and suffered up the hill to Calvary, bearing His death cross, I must join Him and scorn the shame of this world because of the joy set before us.
      Your words, “Life is hard. God is good. That is the best news I have heard all day.” Amen!! I could not agree with you more. God bless, my sister.

  2. Andy Crouch has been doing some great work over the past couple years on expanding upon why the gospel is good news. Basically he observes that a good portion of Christianity has left Genesis 1&2 + Revelation 21&22 out of their Bibles, at least functionally. So the gospel that is then presented is a bad news to bad news story that starts with sin in Genesis 3 and ends with a lake of fire in Revelation 20, rather than starting with God’s good creation and ending with the great new creation with Christ as the connection in all of it. This leaving out of the book ends of scripture ends up effecting how we live and proclaim the gospel, twisting both our so called orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

    If you get a chance, try to look him up.

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