Practicing the Better: Made for Good

We recognize that human beings were part of the original creation, but as we begin to explore practicing the better, we must do more than recall this, we must ponder it.  We do this by remembering we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28).

The imago dei means that we are made to be like God.  God is good; we are made to be good. [1]  Our practice of the better arises from our nature, just as it arises from God’s nature.  But after the fall (Genesis 3–the originating sin of egotism/ethnocentrism), our goodness is activated by a deliberate choice, not by something operating automatically inside us.  We practice the better by acts of the will to do so.

Practicing the better means recognizing original righteousness as our essence and claiming it as our inheritance—and then, praying for grace to be who we are through never-ending circumstances every day where we must choose how we will live.   Practicing the better is a response to the promoting of the Spirit to be an instrument of God’s peace (shalom) moment by moment.

This is not wishful thinking, it is faithful living in congruence with what it means to be human–to be ‘good’ in the present as God declared us to be in the beginning.  We are made for good–made to practice the better.

[1] Take any other attribute of God, and put it into this sentence, “God is _____; we are made to be _______.”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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