“A Godly Man“. I often think about the meaning of that phrase. I have grown up in a church. I learned how to pray and how to worship. I was “Saved” at a very young age. I remember going with my best friend in the corner of the playground and both of us “asked Jesus into our lives”. I was told that I was now legit as a Christian. I now did not need to worry about being condemned to an eternal Hell and I was able to be in contact with the one true God.
It was interesting because if I really thought about it, for a long time I thought most of the people around me had nothing godly in them because most of them did not accept God into their lives, and if I really, really, thought about it I thought that most of the people in the world were going to go to Hell. Because if you did not confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus died and rose again, you were not saved.
The past few years however have changed my perspective on the whole “Godly Man” thing (Heck! It has changed my whole view on EVERYTHING). I began to see some pretty Godly stuff in people who I had been taught were not even Christians and did not have God in them so could not possibly be godly.
It started with movies. I have always been a fan of movies. The movies that I like the most come from tales about what I like to call “real life”–movies in which the characters’ didn’t seem fake; they had flaws and showed them. Schindler’s List was a personal favorite of mine. This movie takes place during the Holocaust. You see a rich German snob who seems to only be interested in women and money. He is extremely willing to take advantage of the war by hiring Jewish workers for almost no money. He is shown committing adultery and strongly implies that he does not have time for God or going to church.
But still what I saw amazed me. This sinner was able to save about 12,000 Jews. I mean there was no reason for him to do this. He put his life at risk and spent almost all his money to save these peoples lives. At the end I was brought to tears because this man Schindler began to break down in the middle of all the people he had saved because he knew he could save a few more and didn’t.
This was an extremely touching story. The movie didn’t tell us that he began to go to church or he stopped committing adultery afterwards but I did find the guy inspiring. I began to think that he was a Godly man.
I began to research Walt Disney. I found him intriguing and realized that he truly cared for the people he made movies for, it wasn’t just about making money and although he had a few bad qualities he did some amazing things–things that are not even about his movies, such as, giving presents to the local orphanage every Christmas, and taking dying kids on tours of his parks. Out of literally hundreds of hours of research I found myself really looking up to Walt as a man who knew his film making and showed grown ups and kids qualities of God.
The problem was, Walt Disney did not go to church. There is nothing that told me whether Walt believed in Jesus or not but I could not say that God was not working in him because, WELL… I knew God was. My whole concept of “a Godly man” was crumbling in my hands. I saw other movies like Dead Poets Society and Blood Diamond that didn’t even mention the name God but seemed to have Him flowing around and through the stories none the less. I read about some great people such as Gandhi who brought peace to literally hundreds of millions of people but he wasn’t even a Christian.
Then I began to see God in my “non-church going” coworkers, when they worked with clients and talked to me about family life and all the sacrificing they had already gone and were willing to go through for the benefit the others they loved. And, then I began to see God in people who had been kicked out of the church. Being kicked up did not make them godly, but the godliness they already had seemed to show up. They were able to forgive those who had hurt them and still were trying to follow God by giving away cars, helping at food banks and befriending even the dirtiest of people.
The concept of a Godly man has changed completely for me. You are not Godly just because you go to church or pray a lot. God does not just show Himself to those who can perform great miracles or those who receives great visions. God is shown by those who are willing to act. He is seen in those who don’t act to be perfect or hyper spiritual but by those who strive to do the right thing. By those who act on the vision that God has given them.
I in no way am saying that you are saved by what you do. No Jesus has taken care of that. But we have to choose whether or not we are willing to act in what God has shown us through out our lives. We need to be able to see God where he is, and that is in saints and in sinners, in the people who we might have grown up being told were Godless. We must drop the lenses that our finite life has given us so we can see the truth of who God is.
He is limitless.