“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13).
Goodness grows out of righteous integrity. The person who manifests God’s goodness thinks good thoughts, speaks good words, and performs good deeds. What the person thinks lines up with what he speaks, and what he speaks lines up with what he does. He is consistent in the integrity of his life.
Through self-justification and excuse-making, Satan attacks our integrity and tempts us to disguise our sins so that we fool ourselves about what is truly good. Whether it is the woman who justifies leaving her husband because she is unhappy or the alcoholic who explains away his drinking as stress relief, these people are not experiencing goodness—they are living a lie. The problem is that our flesh prefers the lie—but this is the way to destruction.
Writing to the Galatians in the middle of the first century AD, Paul warns against the very same sins we face today, and he tells us they are obvious: “Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21).
Lies and deception fragment our lives. We are torn between what we do and what we should do. It is always Satan’s purpose to separate us from God and to divide us from one another. Satan seeks to create disharmony in our emotions, thoughts, and motives. The works of the flesh create confusion over what is right and wrong and cause division in our relationships, birthing distrust and alienation. They are in direct conflict with the Spirit, who produces “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” in our lives if we will but walk in the light of Truth (Galatians 5:22-23).
Prayer: God, forgive me for justifying my sins. There are inconsistencies in my life that can only be corrected with the help of Your Spirit. Show me how I can develop integrity and goodness in my life today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.